Apple is preparing to launch its online store in the September-October period
Apple Inc is gearing up to open its online store in India in the next two months, according to sources. Apple is preparing to launch its online store in the September-October period, sources close to the development said. One of the sources said the launch of the online store will be in time for the festive season, and help the company cash in on the demand seen during Dussehra and Diwali festivals.
The company did not respond to e-mailed queries on the matter.
In February, Apple CEO Tim Cook had reportedly said the company will launch its online store in India later this year, while its first physical retail store will open in the country in 2021.
Apple currently sells its products in India through third-party sellers and online marketplaces like Flipkart and Amazon. In a major push to single-brand retail, the government had last year relaxed FDI guidelines, offering players more flexibility on local sourcing norms.
It had also done away with a provision that required companies to mandatorily set up a brick-and-mortar store before getting into online retail trading. Following the government’s move, Apple had said it was keen on offering online and in-store experiences to Indian users at par with its global standards.
Apple, which competes in the premium smartphone segment in India with players like Samsung and OnePlus, has been aggressively ramping up its presence in the Indian market. The US-based company, in partnership partners like Wistron and Foxconn, recently started assembling iPhone 11 in India.
The iPhone 11 — being assembled at Foxconn’s facility in Tamil Nadu — is the fifth model of the phone that Apple has started assembling in India (others being iPhone 7, XR, 6S and SE).
According to Counterpoint Research, India’s smartphone shipments in the premium segment (priced above Rs 30,000) declined 32 per cent year-on-year to over 1 million in the June 2020 quarter on account of disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the fall, it was one of the least affected segments and reached its highest-ever share in the overall India smartphone market, contributing more than 4 per cent in total smartphone shipments, as per Counterpoint.