Apple CEO Tim Cook: "I love India, but..."

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On Tuesday, Apple revealed that both revenue and net income posted increases of just over 20 percent - cause for celebration at most companies, but meagre by Apple standards.

Apple's growth was the slowest in more than two years, and failed to meet analyst expectations. Apple, as is the tradition, revealed its numbers after the market closed and, thanks to the disappointing numbers, its shares were down around $33 or 5.5% in after-hours trading on Tuesday.

It wasn't so much the volume of sales that disappointed: Apple sold 17 million iPads in April to June period, beating expectations, and 26 million iPhones, at the low end of expectations.

But Apple's average selling prices for the gadgets declined to levels last seen in 2010 for the iPhone and the lowest levels ever in the case of the iPad.

Part of the reason was that consumers bought less expensive versions of the devices, said Apple's chief financial officer, Peter Oppenheimer. Apple introduced a new iPad in March, but kept the older model in stores while cutting its price.

The strengthening dollar also meant that overseas sales at constant prices translated into fewer dollars for Apple.

Apple CEO Tim Cook answered a range of questions - from Apple's plan of building cheaper smartphones for emerging market (there would be none), to competition in the tablet space (Cook didn't think anyone's quite there yet). Then someone asked about Apple's plan for India.

Tim Cook said that while he "loves India," the multilayer distribution structure in the country "really adds cost to getting product to market," and as a result, "in the intermediate term there will be larger opportunities outside of there."

There. The Apple CEO said it in as many words that unless Apple gets an opportunity to directly sells its goods in India, expect status quo.

While India has allowed FDI in single-brand retail, the requirement to source 30 percent of goods from India, continues to be hinderance in plans of companies like Apple. With that unlikely to go anytime soon, expect Apple to explore "larger opportunities outside of (India)", as Cook said.

With inputs from AP

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