Info-tech

Apple may open online store in India by September 2020

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on January 29, 2020 Published on January 29, 2020

File photo   -  REUTERS

iPhone maker to begin retail push in India ahead of festival season, reports indicate

Apple is planning to start sales of its products in India through its online store by the third quarter, according to a TechCrunch report.

The tech giant has deferred plans to start online sales from the January-March quarter tothe August-September quarter in order to complete pending back-end work, the Economic Times reported. The company wishes to roll out its products before the festival season, when sales are relatively high. The timeline also coincides with the launch of its new smartphonemodels including the iPhone 12, the report added.

Brick-and-mortar stores

Apple in August had announced its plans to launch brick-and-mortar retail stores along with its online stores in India. The announcement was in the light of the government’s decision to ease previous regulations which forced foreign companies to source 30 per cent of production locally, according to a Bloomberg report.

"We love our customers in India and we're eager to serve them online and in-store with the same experience and care that Apple customers around the world enjoy,” Apple CEO Tim Cook had said in an official statement. “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.”

Cook’s India visit

Cook will likely plan a trip to India for the launch, TechCrunch reported. The Apple CEO is also likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the visit, ET reported.

Currently, over 30 per cent of Apple products are sold in India online through third-party e-commerce platforms including Amazon India, Flipkart and Paytm Mall.

The brick-and-mortar Apple Stores are likely to be set upover a year, according to the ET report. Apple, last October,had identified Mumbai's Maker Maxity Mall as the location of its first retail store in India, Apple Insiderreported. After its first store in Mumbai, the tech giant is likely to expand its retail stores to Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru according to reports.

A growing market for Apple

India has been a growing market for Apple over the last year. According to a report by Counterpoint, iPhone shipments in India had increased by 6 per cent in 2019.

Apple reported double-digit growth in India during the October- December 2019 quarter. Its revenue grew 9 per cent to $91.8 billion.

The company had started focussing on the Indian market with special pricing, promotions and an e-commerce push after June 2019, when it witnessed significant growth in the market, according to previous reports.

According to a recent Bloomberg report, the government is also planning to offer subsidised loans to smartphone manufacturers in a bid to woo the suppliers of Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co, to open factories in India.

Published on January 29, 2020
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