Reliance Jio said to close in on iPhone deal

India's Reliance Jio Infocomm is reportedly on the verge of securing a long-term partnership with Apple covering the supply of VoLTE iPhones for the operator's upcoming 4G network.

Executives from Reliance Jio parent Reliance Industries and Apple recently reached an in-principle agreement at a meeting in Mumbai, the Economic Times reported, citing senior executives aware of the meeting.

The prospective deal would reportedly see Apple supplying “a couple of million” iPhones with VoLTE support that will work on the operator's network. Reliance plans to sell bundled iPhones through its sales and distribution network covering 120,000 retailers and e-commerce companies.

Reliance Jio also plans to adopt the enterprise retail offerings developed by Apple and IBM for its retail network, to help improve the customer experience.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has given in-principle agreement to such a partnership with Reliance Jio, the report states.

Cook is said to have also used the meeting to make a pitch for Reliance Jio to adopt Apple Pay in Reliance Retail stores, and the company has agreed to evaluate the possibility of such a deployment.

Reliance Jio recently revealed it had exceeded 500,000 LTE users despite only so far launching services for its employees and those of its partners and vendors. The operator's long-awaited public launch is expected for later this year.

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