Apple launched the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus nearly six months ago. But the devices have not yet been released in Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country. In fact, the 2014 iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were the last Apple phones to launch in the country. After about two years of wait, Apple will start selling the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6S, and iPhone 6S Plus in Indonesia on March 31st.

iOS 11 iPhone 7 Plus
Image Source: iphonedigital/flickr.com

Some retailers start pre-orders for the iPhone 7

According to Kompas Tekno, the iPhones would be made available through six retailers across major cities in the country. Some retailers have already started accepting pre-orders for the iPhones. Wireless carrier Smartfren announced that it would begin pre-orders on March 24, a week before launch. The carrier hasn’t yet disclosed pricing details.

Smartfren said it was the first Indonesian carrier to become Apple’s official partner for the iPhone 7. Erafone and iBox stores will also be selling the new iPhones. Apple suffered a setback when the Indonesian government brought a new regulation that required 4G smartphones to have at least 30% local content, which can be software, hardware, or in this case an R&D center in the country.

The regulation was aimed at boosting local manufacturing. The iPhone sales were halted because Apple failed to meet the 30% local sourcing requirements. The Cupertino company has now been allowed to resume sales after it promised to invest $44 million over the next three years to setup a research and development center in Jakarta. The iPhone maker is also working with its manufacturing partner Foxconn to strengthen relationships with government officials in the country.

Apple trying to comply with local norms in India, other countries

Apple is also trying to meet the 30% local sourcing requirement in India, the world’s second-largest smartphone market. The company currently sells iPhones through various retail partners, but wants to set up the exclusive Apple Stores in the country. To open single-brand retail outlets, India requires manufacturers to source 30% content from within the country.

Apple’s manufacturing partner Wistron is setting up a manufacturing facility in the tech hub of Bengaluru to comply with Indian regulations. Wistron will reportedly manufacture the iPhone SE at the new plant. Another Apple partner, Foxconn, has pledged to invest $5 billion in India. Foxconn’s ambitious plans have fueled speculations that the future flagship iPhones could be made in India.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been making investments in several countries to meet local requirements or to appease the respective governments. The company has announced its plan to set up two new research and development centers in China with an investment of $507 million. The iPhone maker is facing stiff competition in China from local Android vendors such as Huawei and Xiaomi.