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Apple Bounces Back in India, Clocks Double-digit Growth

Cook also emphasized on the company’s plans to open its branded stores in India

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Customers walk past an Apple logo inside of an Apple store at Grand Central Station in New York, Aug. 1, 2018. VOA

India is back on Apple’s global map, with CEO Tim Cook announcing that the growth in the country bounced back in the company’s fiscal 2019 third quarter that saw record results.

In an earnings call with analysts late Tuesday, Cook said that tactically, the emerging markets had a bit of a rebound in the third quarter that saw Apple Services vertical grow further.

“In fact, on a constant currency basis, we actually grew slightly in emerging markets. We still declined on a reported basis. India bounced back. During the quarter, we returned to growth there. We are very happy with that. We grew in Brazil as well,” said Apple CEO.

The return of Apple in India – including 19 per cent iPhone shipments growth (YoY) in Q3 — comes at a time when the company is reportedly set to manufacture top-end iPhone XS and iPhone XR courtesy its supplier Foxconn in the country.

“Price cuts and aggressive marketing has helped Apple to drive revenues in India,” Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research, told IANS.

Giving an impetus to its India manufacturing plans, Apple in April started the assembling of iPhone 7 at its supplier Wistron’s facility in Bengaluru.

According to Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO, the company set June quarter revenue records in several major developed markets.

“In emerging markets, we returned to growth in Mainland China, grew strong double digits in India and Brazil and we set new Q3 records in Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines,” informed Maestri.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an event to announce new products, Oct. 30, 2018, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. VOA

Apple is slowly but steadily strategising its plans to make deeper inroads in a country where over 450 million people use smartphones, and assembling iPhone 7 is another step towards gaining more ground.

Reiterating that India is an important market for Apple, Cook earlier said the current iPhone manufacturing will see maximum growth in days to come amid the renewed push to open its branded retail stores in the country.

Cook told analysts during the company’s Q2 results on April 30 that the company has made some “adjustments in India and have seen preliminary some better results there”.

“India is a very important market in the long-term. It is a challenging market in the short-term. But we are learning a lot.”

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“We have started manufacturing there which is very important to be able to serve the market in a reasonable way. And we are growing that capability there,” said the Apple CEO.

Cook also emphasized on the company’s plans to open its branded stores in India.

“We would like to place retail stores there. And we are working with the government to seek approval to do that. And so, we plan on going in there with sort of all of our might,” said Cook. (IANS)

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Facebook Selects Six Projects from India for AI Ethics Research

Facebook announced the Ethics in AI research awards in June with a regional focus of India

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The winners, declared on Friday, included the top two submissions in each category. Pixabay

To encourage research on Artificial Intelligence (AI) ethics, Facebook has selected six projects from India that will focus on three key areas – governance, cultural diversity and operationalising ethics.

The winners, declared on Friday, included the top two submissions in each category.

Facebook announced the Ethics in AI research awards in June with a regional focus of India. The proposed budget should be within Rs 10,00,000 to Rs 20,00,000, Facebook said.

In the operationalising ethics category, the two selected projects include “Patient-Centric Frameworks for the Evaluation of AI-Enabled Medical Tests” that has Amit Sethi of the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT Bombay) as the principal investigator and “Targeted Bias in Indian Media Outlets” that has Animesh Mukherjee of the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur (IIT Kharagpur) as the principal investigator.

Facebook, India, AI
To encourage research on Artificial Intelligence (AI) ethics, Facebook has selected six projects from India that will focus on three key areas – governance, cultural diversity and operationalising ethics. Pixabay

One of the research projects picked for the governance category, “Ethical Implications of Delegating Decision-making Journey to AI Systems”, has Rahul De from the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore (IIM Bangalore)

The other project selected for the governance category, “A‘Public Law of Information’ for India”, has Sudhir Krishnaswamy from the Centre for Law and Policy Research as its principal investigator.

“Mitigating Bias in Face Recognition for Vast Regional Diversity in India” which has Richa Singh from Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology-Delhi (IIIT-Delhi) as principal investigator is one of the projects selected in the cultural diversity category.

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The other project is “Regulatory Impact Assessment of the National AI Market Place of India” which has Varadharajan Sridhar from the International Institute of Information Technology-Bangalore (IIIT-Bangalore) as principal investigator. (IANS)