Wednesday January 16, 2019
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Apple CEO Tim Cook is a Big Believer in India

Apple sold 9.7 million iPads during the quarter

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Apple CEO Tim Cook, Wikimedia

Admitting that his business in India was flat in the fiscal fourth quarter and weak currency trends worry him although these are just “speed bumps”, Apple CEO Tim Cook reiterated that he is a big believer in the country and can’t wait for the future there.

“The emerging markets that we’re seeing pressure in are markets like Turkey, India, Brazil, Russia. These are markets where currencies have weakened over the recent period.

“To give you a perspective in some detail, our business in India in Q4 was flat. Obviously, we would like to see that be a huge growth,” Cook said during an earnings call with analysts after announcing Apple’s Q4 2018 results late Thursday.

Tim Cook noted that the currency weakness has been part of their challenge in India.

“But I view these as speed bumps along a very long journey, though. And the long term I think is very, very strong there,” said the Apple CEO who spoke about the Indian market at great length after quite some time.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during a data privacy conference at the European Parliament in Brussels. VOA

Cook said he has had really great productive discussions with the Indian government.

“We’ve had really great productive discussions with the Indian government, and I fully expect that at some point, they will agree to allow us to bring our stores into the country,” Tim Cook responded to a question.

“We’ve been in discussions with them, and the discussions are going quite well,” he added.

The iPhone maker is seeking tax relief and other incentives from the government to begin assembling more handsets in the country and its proposal to set up a manufacturing unit is reportedly being evaluated.

According to Cook, “there are import duties in some or most of the product categories that we’re in and in some cases, they compound.

“This is an area that we’re giving lots of feedback on. We do manufacture some of the entry iPhones in India, and that project has gone well,” Cook told analysts.

Apple is currently assembling iPhone 6S in India with its partner Wistron.

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Big believer in India, weak currency just speed bump: Tim Cook.

“I am a big believer in India. I am very bullish on the country and the people and our ability to do well there,” Cook added.

According to industry experts, India is the fastest growing among the top 20 smartphone markets globally, with a large untapped user base potential in Tier 5 and 6 cities and beyond.

The current smartphone user base in India is around 450 million which is set to grow by leaps and bounds.

Tim Cook is aware of the tremendous growth opportunity in India.

“There’s a huge number of people that will move into the middle class. The government has really focused on reform in a major way and made some very bold moves.

“I applaud them for doing that and I can’t wait for the future there,” Cook said.

Tim Cook, however, said the sales of Mac and iPads have been very strong in India.

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

“We were pleased with Mac momentum in emerging markets, with strong growth in Latin America, in India, the Middle East and Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe,” the Apple CEO said.

Mac has an active install base of over 100 million units globally.

Apple sold 9.7 million iPads during the quarter.

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“We generated iPad growth in a number of key regions around the world, including Latin America, Europe, Japan, India, and South Asia,” Cook announced.

Apple ended the quarter with $237.1 billion in cash plus marketable securities. (IANS)

Next Story

To Catch Up With China, India Needs To Focus on Improving Its Educational Outcomes

China reached a 100 percent gross enrollment rate (GER) in its primary education in 1985, whereas, India attained that level only in 2000.

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Children learning in a classroom, pixabay

By Amit Kapoor

Both China and India started building their national education systems under comparable conditions in the late 1940s. Different policies and historical circumstances have, however, led them to different educational outcomes, with China outperforming India not just in terms of its percentage of literate population and enrollment rates at all levels of education, but also in terms of number of world-class institutions in higher education, and greater research output.

The roots of China’s successful education system date back to the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), which unintentionally expanded access to the primary education through democratising the schooling system, which was previously elitist in character, thus addressing the problem of mass illiteracy.

In contrast, India continued to focus on its higher education system since independence and only realised the importance of basic education in 1986, keeping it behind China and many other countries in Asia in educational development. In terms of enrollment, China reached a 100 percent gross enrollment rate (GER) in its primary education in 1985, whereas, India attained that level only in 2000.

In terms of secondary school enrollment, India and China both started at the similar rates in 1985, with about 40 percent of their population enrolled in secondary schools. However, due to a wider base of primary school students, the rate of increase in China has been much faster than in India, with 99 percent secondary enrollment rate in China and 79 percent in India in 2017.

Happy kids in School Uniform
China reached a 100 percent gross enrollment rate (GER) in its primary education in 1985, whereas, India attained that level only in 2000.

India is closing in on the Chinese rate in terms of access to education, but on the literacy level front, there is a huge gap in the percentage of literate populations in the two countries. In the age group of 15-24 years, India scores 104th rank on literacy and numeracy indicator, compared to China’s 40th rank.

The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which assesses after every three years the domain knowledge of 15-year-old students in reading, mathematics, science and finance, revealed that students in China performed above the OECD average in 2015. Moreover, one in four students in China are top performers in mathematics, having an ability to formulate complex situations mathematically. Further, China outperforms all the other participating countries in financial literacy, by having a high ability to analyse complex finance products. For India, the comparable data is not available as it was not a participating country in PISA 2015.

However, in India, the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2017 provides data for rural youth, aged 14-18, with respect to their abilities to lead productive lives as adults. According to this survey, only about half of the 14-year-old children in the sample could read English sentences, and more than half of the students surveyed could not do basic arithmetic operations, like division. For basic financial calculations, such as managing a budget or making a purchase decision, less than two-thirds could do the correct calculations.

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Schools in India

With regard to the higher education system, both India and China dominate the number of tertiary degree holders because of their large population size, but when it comes to the percentage of the population holding tertiary degrees, only about 10 per cent and 8 per cent of the population possess university degrees in China and India, respectively. By contrast, in Japan, almost 50 per cent of the population holds a tertiary degree, and in the United States, 31 per cent of the population hold a tertiary degree.

In terms of the international recognition of universities, the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Ranking for 2019 places seven of the China’s universities in the top 200, compared to none for India. The global university rankings, which are based on various performance metrices, pertaining to teaching, research, citations, international outlook and industrial income, shows progress for several of China’s low-ranked universities, largely driven by improvements in its citations.

In fact, the Tsinghua University has overtaken the National University of Singapore (NUS) to become the best university in Asia due to improvements in its citations, institutional income and increased share of international staff, students and co-authored publications.

While India has progressed in terms of massification of education, there is still a lot which needs to be done when it comes to catching up with the China’s educational outcomes. China’s early start in strengthening its primary and secondary education systems has given it an edge over India in terms of higher education. Moreover, Chinese government strategies are designed in line with the criterion used in major world university rankings, especially emphasis is on the two factors which weigh heavily in the rankings — publications and international students.

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The relentless publications drive, which is very evident in China, is weak in India and has led to a growing gap in the number of publications contributed by the two countries. Further, China enrolled about 292,611 foreign students in 2011 from 194 countries, while India currently only has 46,144 foreign students enrolled in its higher education institutions, coming from 166 countries. The large number of international enrollments in China is a reflection of its state policies granting high scholarships to foreign students.

To catch up with China, India needs to lay emphasis on improving its educational outcomes. Massification drive for education has helped India raise its student enrollments, but a lot needs to be done when it comes to global recognition for its universities. Further, it needs to focus on building the foundation skills which are acquired by students at the school age, poor fundamental skills flow through the student life, affecting adversely the quality of education system. (IANS)