Apple Inc that has its own stores across the globe may also get to set up its own outlets in India, rather than sell through other chains, with the government easing the sourcing norms for foreign players in single-brand retailing.
In a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, the local sourcing norms of 30 percent on single brands in general were relaxed for up to three years and for those with “state-of-the-art” and “cutting-edge” technologies for five years.
This, analysts believe, will particularly favour Apple Inc.
“Of course, the move is going to help Apple,” said Vishal Tripathi, Research Director at global market consultancy firm Gartner. The Cupertino-based tech giant has been pushing for such a move which also had the strong backing of the commerce ministry.
“This will sure lead the tech giant to open its signature iWorld stores in India soon. The move, however, may affect its current partners’ business in India once Apple decides to go alone,” Tripathi told IANS.
An e-mail query to Apple India evoked no response till the release of this article.
With the bureaucracy in India catching on to loosely-worded phrases while giving their approvals to projects, some analysts felt some terms needed to be elaborated further. But the overall response was this will be done in a more detailed manner.
“The catch here remains what is the definition of the ‘cutting-edge’ technology or how the government will define what is ‘state-of-the-art’ technology,” said Faisal Kawoosa, Lead Analyst with Cyber Media Research (CMR), a market research firm.
“Then in a similar manner, how will Apple prove that it has got the right features for availing the benefits? The norms have been carved out in such a way now that Apple needs to prove that the company deserves it,” Kawoosa said.
The Confederation of Indian Industry did not name Apple specifically in its reaction.