On Paper it appears that Apple's Fight with India's Telecom Authority is a Losing Strategy
Over the past year Patently Apple has posted at least four reports dedicated to the war between India's Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and Apple's hesitancy in complying with TRAI over including an Indian anti-spam app that Apple claims would violate it's privacy policies. Our four reports (01, 02, 03 and 04) covered the ongoing saga that went from Apple creating a custom version of the Indian app to India threatening to sue Apple and finally last month TRAI warning wireless carriers to ban the iPhone if it doesn't provide users with its anti-spam app by January 2019.
Last year TRAI's chairman used inflammatory language to describe the matter such as "data colonization" in an attempt to turn the Indian public against Apple. It's a term to remind their countryman of the ignorant era of the U.K. ruling India before Gandhi turned the tide by dispelling the Brits and creating an independent India. If Chairman R S Sharma had to go to that level, you know that this is a sensitive issue with them and Apple's non-compliance isn't going to do them any favors in India.
With Apple's lowly 1% of the Indian market, choosing to fight the government isn't seen by locals as Apple being the good guy like it is in the U.S. Apple has hit a wall in India. Unlike other countries that might play ball with Apple, India has shut the door to Apple's many demands and Apple is losing executives as sales aren't improving. Bloomberg posted a gloomy picture of Apple in India on Monday.
Today Reuters posted a report titled "Apple's mettle in India tested in squabble over anti-spam app," which took another negative look at Apple in their war with TRAI.
In June Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple Reveals at WWDC 2018 that they will be Complying with India's demand for an Anti-Spam App in iOS 12." However, Reuters report today claims that while the app or functionality in iOS 12 will partially comply with the TRAIs demands, it falls short of full compliance.
This is why TRAI had sent a message back to Apple loud and clear to either comply or India's wireless carriers will shut them down in January 2019. Apple will be forced to go to court on this issue to have their iPhones back on line.
While I believe the media is a mile behind the actual talks behind the scene, the fact is that TRAI has publicly put a challenge to Apple that will have consequences that could damage Apple's reputation should Apple refuse to comply 100%.
While Apple has fought India on this issue at every step of the way over a two year span, Samsung has opened a massive plant in India with India's Prime Minister smiling from ear to ear because the number one smartphone volume leader in the world has gladly worked with them at every conceivable level.
With Samsung and Xiaomi winning in the Indian market big time by complying with the government of India, it's clear that Apple's non-compliance with TRAIs order is futile. For more on this, read the full Reuters report here.
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