Apple is reportedly preparing to open its first online retail store in India in September.
According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple will finally make its Apple.com retail store available in the country, one of the world’s fastest-growing smartphone markets. Insiders have suggested that Apple is taking advantage of a “relaxation of once-strict prohibitions against foreign direct retail,” meaning the company can sell directly to consumers in India.
“The online store will be ready for operations just ahead of the festive Dussehra-Diwali spending season, according to the person, who asked not to be named discussing confidential plans,” the report continued, suggesting an online launch was imminent.
Until now, sales of Apple products in India have been limited to resellers. That’s because foreign companies must produce at least 30% of their products in the country.
The Indian government relaxed the rules in August 2019, and though Apple had originally planned to start selling products in the country last year, several delays mean it will now begin in September 2020.
Once an online store launches, it’ll be the first time Indian consumers have access to Apple’s entire product portfolio and customer service from one centralized hub.
However, as most Indian consumers purchase from third-party resellers at a discounted price, the Apple.com Store is unlikely to break any sales records, as the company does not discount its products.
Apple is set to introduce new Apple Stores in the country, too, with one location in Mumbai already in development. Bangalore has been cited as a hub for Apple’s next India store.
The Cupertino company has been working hard in recent years to persuade the Indian government to allow Apple to trade directly to consumers. Apple has begun outsourcing the manufacturing of its iPhone SE and iPhone 11 models in India, reducing its reliance on China.
Are you an Indian Apple user? Are you excited about these changes? Let us know and check back soon for more news and rumors on everything Apple, every week.