Apple CEO Sees India at ‘Tipping Point’ as China Pivots Quickens

(Bloomberg) — Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook on Thursday singled out India as central to the iPhone maker, emphasizing how the world’s most populous country is on its way to becoming both a major market and a manufacturing base.

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Cook, who presided over the opening of Apple’s first two Indian outlets last month, joined his lieutenants in mentioning India about 20 times on a conference call after disclosing the earnings. The company posted record sales for a March quarter in India, reflecting its increasing reliance on the market to drive overall growth.

“There are a lot of people coming into the middle class and I really feel that India is at a tipping point,”[ads1]; Cook told analysts on the call. “And the dynamics of the market. The vitality is incredible.”

Apple is trying to accelerate growth in a country of 1.4 billion where rising incomes are boosting consumption, while smartphone sales are plateauing elsewhere in the world. The company does not break out India revenue in its earnings reports, but Bloomberg News has reported that Apple posted nearly $6 billion in sales there in the year to March.

It is also keen to utilize an enormous workforce. Apple is exploring ways to reduce its reliance on China as tensions between Washington and Beijing continue to escalate. Its longtime partners, which make most of the world’s iPhones from scattered factories in China, have been adding assembly lines at a rapid pace over the past year.

Read more: Apple looks beyond China in bid to recreate Cook’s supply chains

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