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Apple steps up distribution in India through tie up with HCL Infosystems

Apple is slowly stepping up its retail distribution chain in India after it started assembling and shipping the 4-inch iPhone SE models. The Cupertino based company signed a deal with HCL Infosystems for distributing Apple iPhone and other Apple devices in India, according to HCL’s filings with the BSE. As of now, Apple has retail distribution tie ups with Beetel Teletech, Rashi Peripheral, Redington and Ingram Micro, PTI reported. The Redington deal, however, dates back to 2012. In June this year, Apple confirmed that it is manufacturing iPhone SE models domestically through a tie up with Wistron, a Taiwan based Orginal Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). Wistron has a manufacturing plant in Peenya, Bangalore. The company was selling iPhone SE (32GB) for an MRP price of Rs 27,200. Apart from this, it has telco tie ups with Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone. Apple has been concentrating on the Indian market since early 2016, when the government had relaxed mandatory 30% local sourcing norms for foreign companies looking to open single-brand retail in India. The exemption was however given only to what the government termed as “state-of-art and cutting edge” technology products. Apple subsequently tried to gain the “state of the art” status in May last year, but it is not clear if this worked in the company's favour. Earlier this year in April, Apple demanded tax exemptions to set up a manufacturing unit in India, including a 15-year exemption from customs duty, but these requests were put on hold. Another catalyst for companies like Apple,…

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