Apple appears to be eying a fair share of the festive sales in India this year as the iPhone maker is planning to make its long planned online store in the country a reality soon, the media reported.
While there was no official confirmation yet from the company, a Bloomberg report on Tuesday (25 August) said Apple is preparing to open the online store in the country as early as next month.
Soon after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet decided to ease the 30 per cent local sourcing norm in single-brand retail (SBRT) last year, Apple told IANS that the company was eager to serve Indian consumers “online and in-store with the same experience and care that Apple customers around the world enjoy.”
“We appreciate the support and hard work by Prime Minister Modi and his team to make this possible and we look forward to one day welcoming customers to India’s first Apple retail store,” the company said.
The earlier requirement for foreign companies to source 30 per cent of production locally was believed to be the primary reason why Apple chose to sell its products in India through third party sellers for this long.
Apple had originally planned to start online sales within months of removing this restriction, but the Covid-19 pandemic reportedly played its part in delaying those plans, MacRumors reported.
Apple, which has already started manufacturing certain iPhone models in India, has reportedly already worked out locations for its retail stores in the country as well.
TechCrunch first reported in January that Apple would open an online store in India to start official direct sales of its devices in the third quarter this year.
Apple is likely to open its first physical store in Mumbai next year.
Bullish on its growth in India, Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly said in February that the company is set to open its first branded retail store in the country in 2021.
“I don’t want somebody else to run the brand for us,” he told investors at the annual shareholder meeting.
“We wouldn’t be a very good partner in retail. We like to do things our way,” the Apple CEO mentioned.
Apple currently has third-party reseller outlets to sell its range of devices in the country.
The plan for opening owned stores will certainly help Apple in giving a controlled experience of its devices and services as it intends and designed them to be in the country.
It should be noted that Apple has just around one per cent share in the Indian smartphone market. However, when it comes to the premium smartphones, Apple has dominated the Indian market with over 48 per cent of the premium phones sold in the second quarter in India were company's iPhones.
Meanwhile, Apple has already started manufacturing its new iPhone SE 2020 in India and is also planning to manufacture the flagship iPhone 12, which is scheduled to be launched in October, in the country.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
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