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Ease in Local Sourcing Norms Big Boost for Firms Like Apple

According to Tarun Pathak, this is a good move that will help these companies scale their retail operations quickly and bring more investments in the country

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

In a boost for smartphone makers like Apple and horde of Chinese vendors to open exclusive retails stores in the country, the government on Friday announced to relax the mandatory 30 per cent local sourcing norms for FDI in the single-brand retail sector.

Tech companies have time and again reiterated that it was difficult for them to procure goods from India to meet the 30 per cent condition.

The news comes as a relief for Apple that is facing tough times in the Indian smartphone market in the wake of stiff competition coming from the Chinese players.

Industry analysts said the relaxation of local sourcing norms will provide the necessary growth stimulus for the Indian economy and will enable the country to potentially attract the likes of Apple and others.

“Over the long term, this policy thrust would ensure increased competitiveness of Indian homegrown manufacturers, as they benefit from the closer integration with global markets, as well as from the opportunities that the expanding domestic market would potentially offer,” Prabhu Ram, Head, Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CyberMedia Research (CMR), told IANS.

antitrust lawsuit, apple, iphone apps
FILE – Apple’s App Store app is seen in Baltimore, MD., March 19, 2018. VOA

The ongoing US-China trade tensions present a critical opportunity for India to seize the opportunity, take the leap, and become an integral part of the global value chain, Ram added.

“As enterprises look at relocating outside China, and setting base elsewhere, India has a clear opportunity to take the leadership mantle, attract them, and potentially emerge as a key manufacturing hub for the new world,” he noted.

Also Read: Quick Heal Becomes 1st Indian Company to get US Patent for Anti-ransomware Tech

According to Tarun Pathak, this is a good move that will help these companies scale their retail operations quickly and bring more investments in the country.

“It is a big boost for Apple which is looking to expand in India and retail expansion is a strategic move which has already delayed by their end by couple of years. If local sorucing is competitive, it will also help vendors like Xiaomi, OnePlus, Samsung, Oppo and vivo expedite their retail operations in the country,” Pathak told IANS. (IANS)

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Apple Introducing Disability-Themed Emojis for its Keyboard

The new emojis would be made available this fall with a free software update on Apple devices

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disability-themed emojis
FILE - Emoji characters are shown on the screens of two mobile phones in Paris, Aug. 6, 2015. VOA

In a bid to bring more diversity to its keyboards, Apple is rolling out 59 new emojis to its keyboard for iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple Watches this fall.

In a major update to the “couples holding hands” emoji, users would now be able to select any combination of skin tone, to personalise the people holding hands, opening up more than 75 possible combinations, the iPhone-maker wrote in a blog-post on Tuesday.

Furthermore, introducing more disability-themed emojis, Apple keyboards would now have a new guide dog, an ear with a hearing aid, wheelchairs, a prosthetic arm and a prosthetic leg as well.

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

“Celebrating diversity in all its many forms is integral to Apple’s values and these new options help fill a significant gap in the emoji keyboard,” the post said.

ALSO READ: Apple Watch Saves Man from Drowning

Other new emojis making way into Apple keyboard includes a new smiley face for yawning, a one-piece swimsuit, new food items including a waffle, falafel, butter and garlic as well as new animals like the sloth, flamingo, orangutan and skunk. The new emojis would be made available this fall with a free software update on Apple devices. (IANS)