Reliance and Apple agree direct sourcing arrangement for iPhones

Reliance Industries has agreed to a provisional sourcing deal for iPhones during Apple CEO Tim Cook’s first visit to India.

While nothing has yet been signed, Cook has reportedly approved a strategic partnership that will see Apple delivering iPhones with VoLTE capability to India’s mobile debutante, Reliance Jio. As the first operator to provide nationwide 4G, Jio is looking to encourage service adoption by bundling its data services with the iPhone.

This strategy is also aimed at increasing iPhone penetration in India, which in turn would boost the use of Apple Pay. Cook is angling for Reliance Retail to adopt the service in its 120,000 Indian outlets. The stores will also roll out bespoke enterprise software developed by Apple and IBM.

Despite the fact that Reliance Jio has not yet announced a launch date for its highly anticipated service, the operator has disclosed that it already has over 500,000 4G customers. Reliance Industries staff have been able to use the new network since the end of last year, and it has just introduced an employee referral programme.

Cook’s Indian visit, during which he is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, follows on from a whistle-stop trip to China in which he met with government officials. The Apple CEO has announced that the tech firm will launch a new Hyderabad facility devoted to its Maps products. 

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