Tim Cook is meeting with Indian phone companies with hopes of using the country’s expanding 4G network to make Apple devices more appealing, The Economic Times reports. A senior executive at Bharti Airtel, India’s largest mobile phone operator, said his company is in talks with Apple to create a strategic partnership that may end up including special offers on devices, deals to sell products through retail stores, and new training of company personnel. A senior Reliance executive said bundling of Apple products was also an option, supporting claims that Apple’s leadership sees potential for India’s increased 4G coverage to boost sales of iPads and Apple TVs in addition to iPhones.
India’s market has proven troublesome for Apple, with many customers unable to afford the company’s devices, but Cook said he believes price isn’t the only issue, with most of the smartphones selling in India on the “low end” due to existing networks. “The thing that (has) held not only us back, perhaps but some others as well, is that the LTE rollout in India just really began this year, and so we’ll begin to see some really good networks coming on in India,” Cook said in a conference call. “That will unleash the power and capability of the iPhone in a way that an older network, a 2.5G, or even some 3G networks, would not do.”