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Apple and India at odds over rejection of a ‘Do Not Disturb’ app

September 7th, 2017 at 12:12 AM
Apple iPhone

Apple for quite some time has been trying to establish more of an official presence in India. And with good reason, India, with a population of 1.2 billion, represents an enormous opportunity for Apple to significantly boost iPhone sales.

“I sort of view India as where China was seven to 10 years ago from that point of view,” Tim Cook said last year. “I think there’s a really great opportunity there.”

Overall, Apple’s progress in India has been extremely slow, with iPhone sales in the country hampered by incredibly high duties, import taxes, and Apple’s legal inability to sell used iPhones in the country. Still, whatever progress has made in the country in recent months may be threatened by a dispute with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

According to a report from Bloomberg, the TRAI is incensed that Apple rejected a Do Not Disturb app designed to thwart spammers.

The program lets people share spam call and text message logs with the agency, which uses the data to alert mobile operators to block the spammers. Apple has said the app violates its privacy policy, according to the regulator.

The standoff could impact Apple’s efforts to expand in India, where half a billion smartphones will be sold by 2020.

Speaking on the matter, TRAI chairman Ram Sewak said that “no company can be allowed to be the guardian of a user’s data.”

An odd statement to be sure, it’s entirely within Apple’s rights, if not its duty, to serve as the protector of its users’ sensitive data.

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.

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