Apple and Reliance Jio enter a long term relationship to bring iPhones on Jio’s 4G network
Apple may have entered into an long-term agreement with Reliance Jio. According to a report by Economic Times, Apple CEO, Tim Cook met with Reliance Jio’s executives at Mukesh Ambani’s residence in South Mumbai. Reliance is seemingly looking forward to selling bundled iPhones with Jio’s 4G services through its own sales and distribution network and start a direct sourcing relationship. In return, Apple is looking at a potential deployment of Apple Pay in Reliance Retail stores.
According to the report, Cook has given an in-principle nod to Reliance’s offer of bundling iPhones with its 4G plans. This way, Reliance will directly buy, distribute and retail iPhones from Apple without having to go via its local distributors. Reliance Jio is the only 4G LTE network in the country that supports VoLTE, which Apple’s iPhones support. The agreement could help Apple make further inroads into the Indian market.
During the quarterly earnings call last month, Cook had hinted about the opportunity India had for Apple once LTE networks became more widespread in the country.India was the only silver lining for iPhone sales with a 56 percent year-on-year growth when even China slowed down. “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. 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,” Cook had said during the call.
Further, Reliance has also expressed its interest in deploying enterprise retail solutions developed by Apple and IBM. Reliance Retail also wants to give Apple devices to its shop-floor employees in order to improve consumer experience.