Just when the world is battling to tackle Coronavirus, Apple announced the opening of the first physical retail store in India. Speaking to investors during the sidelines of the annual shareholder meeting, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook confirmed that the first retail store will open doors in India in 2021.
The move assumes great significance with the company finding ways to tap into new markets after the extended lockdown of its stores in China. According to Cook, the company will directly open the first retail store without handing over to a third-party company.
Currently, Apple had to depend upon third-party resellers to sell iPhones, iPads and other accessories in India. The main reason is because of the adverse restrictions by the Indian Government over non-Indian firms. This has forced the company to ink partnerships with resellers instead of direct representation. While replying to a query, Cook confirms that the company would like to do business in their own way.
Recently, the Government of India had simplified the local-sourcing requirements. The move will benefit Apple to conduct the business without any problem. The Government has allowed exports to count towards the 30% local sourcing rule. This will cover iPhones including other products manufactured by Foxconn or Wistron in India and are being exported to other countries.
Rumored Apple Store Location in Mumbai
According to sources, Apple had already leased three floors of the Mumbai’s Maker Maxity Mall spanning over 20,000 to 25,000 sq. ft area in October 2019. While the first floor will house an experience center, the second floor will showcase products for retail sale. Whereas, the company will have an exclusive service center on the third floor. The iPhone manufacturer is also working towards starting online sales in India by the end of 2020.
Interestingly, Apple was trolled on Twitter over the media invite, which cautioned the shareholders to take appropriate health precautions due to the rapid spread of the Coronavirus.
I’m supposed to go to the Apple shareholder meeting tomorrow. If I somehow contract Coronavirus, is that covered under AppleCare? pic.twitter.com/ZdF4qCkfmG
— Sean Montgomery (@gomery) February 25, 2020
We expect that the Apple retail store will serve as a tourist destination because tech-savvy enthusiasts from across India will visit the mall. Apple should open the retail outlet in multiple locations to tap the vast user base.
With the opening of the store, the price of iPhones and iPad will also reduce when you purchase from the store. Apple had closed over 500 retail stores across China affecting the sales across the region. Moreover, the production of the devices is also affected due to the extended closure of the factories due to the virus outbreak.