Apple’s CEO Tim Cook meets Bharti Airtel chief Mittal

Other top leaders from Bharti Airtel including CEO of India and South Asia Gopal Vittal were also present.

May 20, 2016 08:10 pm | Updated November 17, 2021 01:49 am IST - New Delhi

Apple CEO Tim Cook met Bharti Artel Chief Sunil Mittal on Friday. Photo PTI

Apple CEO Tim Cook met Bharti Artel Chief Sunil Mittal on Friday. Photo PTI

Apple chief Tim Cook on Friday met Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of India’s largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel, and discussed matters like 4G roll out in the country and growth in the Indian telecom space.

Other top leaders from Bharti Airtel including CEO of India and South Asia Gopal Vittal were also present in the meeting that lasted nearly a hour.

According to sources, Hike messenger founder and CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal was also present and he made a presentation to the head of the Cupertino-based company about the growth seen by the instant messaging app.

Hike competes with the likes of Facebook-owned WhatsApp, Line and Viber.

They added discussions revolved around forging alliances to help the US-based firm expand its retail presence in the country.

“It was a great meeting. Airtel and Apple go a long way back. Given the lead of Airtel in 4G, this relationship is going to grow stronger,” sources said.

Cook, who is on his maiden visit to India, has already met Vodafone India CEO Sunil Sood in Mumbai.

Besides, he has also met leaders from India Inc including ICICI Bank’s Chanda Kochhar, Tata Group Chairman Cyrus Mistry and Tata Consultancy Services CEO N Chandrasekaran.

He also had a chance meeting with Mukesh Ambani’s younger son, Anant, when he visited Siddhivinayak temple earlier this week.

Cook has said he believes it is “exactly the right time” to be in India as telecom firms roll out 4G high speed internet services.

Apple, which is seeing declining sales elsewhere in the world, is betting big on India for growth as sales here saw an impressive 56 per cent growth in January-March.

Apple had forayed into the Indian market in 2008 in partnership with Bharti Airtel. In the following years, the US—based firm has expanded partnerships with players like Vodafone and distribution firms like Ingram Micro and Redington.

In the US, iPhones are often carrier-locked to make them more affordable. However, in India that is not the case.

Analysts have attributed high cost of Apple’s devices to be a major deterrent to sales of iPhone that competes with Android—based smartphones.

Apple is also pushing for introducing refurbished phones in the country that may help in making its smartphones more affordable to a larger audience.

Cook, who is meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, is expected to take up the issue as part of the discussions.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.