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Apple will be making Bollywood film star Shah Rukh Khan a brand ambassador for India, intensifying the company's profile in the country, according to a Thursday report.
An announcement will be made when Apple launches new iPhones in India later this year, said local website PC Tablet, citing anonymous sources. That could be a month or more after Apple's normal U.S. launch window in September, if patterns from last year repeat. The iPhone 6s only arrived in India in October.
The company has a number of such "ambassadors" elsewhere, such as Brazilian-born soccer player Neymar, or NBA player Steph Curry in the U.S. These people are used to market Apple products, attracting attention through their celebrity.
During his trip to India last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook attended a dinner party hosted by Khan, where other Bollywood celebrities were also in attendance. It's unknown whether Cook made the trip with appointing Khan in mind, or if the idea of using him may have sprung out of the party.
Apple has declared India a focal point of future expansion as the pace of growth has slowed in China. Cook has argued that the arrival of new LTE networks in the country could propel iPhone sales beyond a small 2 percent marketshare, but the main obstacle is believed to be price, since even the iPhone SE costs several times as much as most phones sold in the country.