Apple announces offline and online store in India

The online store could be launched in 3-5 months while its offline store could take 12-18 months.

Technology giant Apple Inc. has confirmed that it would be launching its online store as well as a company-owned offline one in India in the coming months. The move comes a day after Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal reduced local sourcing limitations on Single Brand Retail Trade.

While the online store could be launched in 3-5 months, the offline store could take 12-18 months. Apple’s stores have been observed to be a landmark everywhere in the 25 countries that they have been established in, having been constructed with special attention to their design and architecture. In India, the store is slated to come up in Mumbai.

About 35-40% of iPhone sales in the country come from ecommerce and hence the company wants to latch onto this opportunity, one of the companies executives told The Economic Times. “Online is also a big sales driver for iPad tablets and MacBook laptops, and contributes over 25% of annual sales in India,” he said.

Until now, Apple had been selling its products through third-party or franchisee stores and e-commerce platforms like Amazon India, Flipkart and Paytm Mall. It has been reported before that the California-based company has been upset with the platforms for their sharp discounts, that increases their Gross Merchandise Value metrics but degrade the iPhone’s image.

The launch of Apple’s own online and offline store could also curb the black market for its products. Thus, while customers can expect an improvement in service and speed of new device launches, prices are expected to remain high.

India currently is one of its largest smartphone markets and Apple controls 2% of the share in it. Even though it projects itself as a premium phone, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has on many occasions said that the company sees a huge potential for itself here.

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