Apple India to open 3 flagships and an online store
Apple India are reportedly planning to open three brick-and-mortar outlets as well as an online store as it finally enters the country.
The US tech company’s plans coincide with further relaxation of government regulations towards foreign retailers in the world’s second-most-populous market.
India recently eased the mandatory local sourcing rule and scrapped the law which states brands must have a physical store before trading online.
The move will benefit the premium smartphone maker, which was facing challenges in the Indian smartphone market amid competition from Chinese rivals.
Previously, Apple have taken steps to manufacture products in India, partnering with Taiwanese company Wistron to make iPhone 6S and 7 models.
India’s population is growing at such a rate it will soon overtake China’s 1.386 billion.
Its expanding middle classes are also making it an attractive destination for mobile phone companies as well as large global retailers.
However, their plans were stunted until recently when previous government-imposed laws, protecting local ‘ma-and-pa’ retailers and Indian brands were loosened.
According to sources close to Apple’s submissions to Indian regulatory authorities, first reported by The Press Trust of India, Apple have now confirmed its plans to open a physical store network of its own.
It already operates single-brand stores in partnership with local partners, but new stores are expected to be on the scale of flagships in other major international cities.
Currently there is no official word on where the primary Apple India store will be located but multiple sources are confident it will be Mumbai.
Brands wanting to develop their own retail networks in India have to manufacture some products within the country.
Before, this would have been a major obstacle but with the current China-US trade war, manufacturers dependent on Chinese factories are looking for alternative low-cost bases.
Indian government officials are keen to work with brands to help them relocate.