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Apple is scheduled to launch its official online store in India on September 23, the company announced in a press statement today. Called the Apple Store Online, this will allow Apple to sell its products and accessories directly through its own channels. It will also allow Apple to offer customer service directly.
It’s not like Apple products have not been available online in India. Apple had authorised Amazon, Flipkart and other online stores to sell iPhones, MacBooks and iPads before, but it’s for the first time that Apple will now retail products directly to customers in India.
The development was first reported by Bloomberg which claimed Apple was readying for a pre-Diwali launch for the online store. With September 23 as the date, Apple has managed to meet the deadline but as per the report, the Apple online store would have launched much sooner if not for the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re proud to be expanding in India and want to do all we can to support our customers and their communities,” Deirdre O'Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail + People said in a statement. “We know our users are relying on technology to stay connected, engage in learning, and tap into their creativity, and by bringing the Apple Store online to India, we are offering our customers the very best of Apple at this important time,” she added.
The biggest advantage of shopping directly on Apple Store Online is the range of additional options and services you’ll get. Right from custom-configuring a Mac to setting up a new device, the online store should be far more helpful. The online store will have customer service agents fluent in both English and Hindi.
The online store will also offer financing options and trade-in programs. Special pricing for students purchasing an iPad or a Mac. Apple will also start hosting online events like the Today at Apple sessions, scheduled to begin from October. This will have creative professionals talk about things like photography and music.
Apple will also allow special gift wraps and personalised engraving on select products. You can have an emoji or text in multiple Indic languages engraved in the AirPods, while only English engraving is available for the iPad and the Apple Pencil for now.
Apple also said all deliveries conducted by the online store will be contactless during the COVID-19 pandemic. Orders that do not require a signature will be left at the customer’s doorstep, while the ones that do will only require a verbal confirmation from a distance.
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