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Apple could announce its own online e-commerce platform in India next month after strict prohibitions in FDI in retail was relaxed by the government. A report by Bloomberg claims Apple will have the online store operational in time for the festive season. The move could mean a lot more involvement for Apple in one of the fastest smartphone markets in the world.
Apple has been lobbying the government for years to get the regulations relaxed so it can open its own stores. Earlier, the mandate required sellers to source 30 percent of the components locally. With that relaxed last year, Apple was supposed to begin online sales much earlier. However, things got delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to unnamed sources cited in the article.
Apple has also been looking outwards of China, especially in other South Asian countries, including India to shift a chunk of iPhone-manufacturing, due to escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing.
Other than an online store, Apple is working on opening its first brick-and-mortar store in Mumbai, followed by a second in Bengaluru. The Mumbai Apple Store will be the first physical retail store for the Cupertino giant and is set to open next year in the posh BKC neighbourhood. In Bengaluru, Apple is planning to open a large, half a million square feet space.
Currently, Apple sells its products through online retail channels like Flipkart and Amazon, while in the offline space, Apple has authorized retailers and service centres across the country. With their own stores, Apple could have better control over the branding and marketing of iPhones in India, and compete with the likes of OnePlus and Samsung, who already have their own online stores functioning in India.
There’s also a rising demand for iPhones in India, which is perhaps why the company wants to start its online store as soon as possible. iPhones had a 49 percent market share in the premium segment, in the second quarter of 2020, according to IDC. The popular offerings include the iPhone XR and the iPhone 11, which constitute 28 percent of all high-end smartphones shipped.
|Release Date:||17 Apr 2020|
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