Tim Cook in front of an Apple Logo
Source: iphonedigital @ Flickr // CC 2.0

For years, if you have thought that Apple devices seem a little too greedily priced  in India(although they aren’t very fairly priced anywhere), that is because Apple has been operating in the country with a 3rd party seller. Reports however, have suggested that Apple may finally come up with its own online store this year, with an offline one next year. Interestingly, Apple CEO Tim Cook, who made this announcement at an event recently, has now credited US President Donald Trump for making this happen.

From 2020, Apple will sell its phones directly in the country through its online portal, and will set up a physical store by 2021, said Tim Cook. This will provide the company with much more control over the supply chain and inventory movement. He also said that the company has been unable to penetrate in the Indian market as deeply as he would have liked it to, since he was hesitant about letting his brand be portrayed by a 3rd party. However, he is filled with hope since the news broke out and has seems keen about the company’s prospects in India.

“We did not want to do that, we wanted to maintain control over our brand and so forth. But, the [Trump] administration worked on this with the Indian government, and that change has been made […],” Cook told CNBC, sharing his opinion on working with a 3rd party seller in India.

Tim Cook’s relationship with Trump has been very nuanced, as the two have had varied opinions on different topics. Cook blatantly opposed Trump’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration policy, but has also also invited Trump for a tour of an Apple facility in the U.S.

It is safe to assume that the two leaders share some type of warmth in their relationship, seeing how Trump lobbied this deal with the Indian government and has exempted the company from 10 out of total 15 payable taxes on Chinese products used in Apple devices on personal requests from the CEO. It is also noteworthy that similar requests had been shot down in the past.

Meanwhile, prices of Apple devices manufactured outside of India, have gone up (link in Hindi) in India due to an increase in customs duty. Prices of iPhone 11 Pro(all versions) and iPhone 8 have gone up, while iPhone 11, iPhone XR iPhone 7, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac laptops have retained their old prices.