MUMBAI (AFP) - Apple chief executive Tim Cook announced on Wednesday (May 18) a new app design centre in India as he kicked off his first visit to the Asian giant seeking to tap into its roll-out of 4G networks.
Mr Cook landed in the Indian financial capital Mumbai shortly before midnight on Tuesday by private jet from China, where he made a US$1 billion announcement.
After an early morning visit to a Hindu temple in Mumbai, Mr Cook announced the US technology behemoth was planning to build the app design facility in the southern city of Bangalore.
"India is home to one of the most vibrant and entrepreneurial iOS development communities in the world," the Apple boss said in a statement, adding that it would open early next year.
"With the opening of this new facility in Bengaluru, we're giving developers access to tools which will help them create innovative apps for customers around the world," Mr Cook said, referring to IT hub Bangalore.
Mr Cook's four-day visit comes as Apple eyes India's fast-growing market as increasingly key to its fortunes, with sales in China and the United States slowing.
The 55-year-old made a trip to Mumbai's Shree Siddhivinayak temple, according to the Indian Express newspaper, which posted a picture of Mr Cook wearing a religious cloth around his neck.
While an Apple spokesperson refused to confirm Mr Cook's schedule to AFP, local media reported he had lined up meetings with a number of prominent businessmen, including Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry.
Mr Cook will also reportedly meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while the Business Standard newspaper said he planned to hold discussions with Airtel CEO Sunil Mittal.
Airtel, along with other Indian telecoms companies Reliance and Vodafone, are currently rolling out 4G networks across the country.
Mr Cook has previously stated that the onset of fast phone networks in India would boost sales of the Apple iPhone there.
In April the tech firm reported its first drop in global iPhone sales since launching the smartphone in 2007. But revenues from sales in India grew by 56 per cent in the first three months of 2016 compared to the previous year.
During his trip to China, Mr Cook announced Apple had invested US$1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing, the bitter rival of US-based Uber.