Will Apple ever open an official flagship retail store in India was the greatest “will they, won’t they” relationship since Pam and Jim in The Office. But not anymore. Apple Stores in India is now close to becoming a reality.
From the rumors buzzing around, things are back in the “it’s happening” phase. According to a new report, Apple has finally put together a short list of possible locations for its retail store in India. And it all just happened a few weeks after the iPhone price cuts in India and China. That was the day when I got proof that God existed!
Anyway, remember how us thrifty Indians had to buy our expensive AF iPhones through third-party retailers or rely on the mercy of online authorised sellers like Amazon and Flipkart? But, hopefully, Apple fanboys in Mumbai will soon be able to enjoy Apple’s peculiar retail experience of wandering through an austere cube of a storefront filled with wonder and impossibly expensive gadgets. In case anybody failed to notice, Apple picked the most populous city in India with 12.4 million to open it’s flagship stores. And the word on the street is that Tim Cook and the team have already zeroed in on a few ‘upscale’ locations in Mumbai.
The spots under consideration are described as iconic and are said to be comparable to the Fifth Avenue Apple store in terms of the retailing prestige. But let’s hope that there are no bed bug sightings in this one!
Apple Store India – From No to Yes
In the past, Apple was told a big fat NO for opening Apple Stores in India. The government said it was due to laws about local sourcing of products, and I say they just can’t see us happy!
Anyway, the law stated that for a company to open single-brand retail stores, at least 30% of their products should be sourced locally. And we all know Apple’s workaround this law – iPhones that are manufactured in India.
The expansion into the India tech market is particularly important for Apple’s future and revenue growth. And given all of the trade war uncertainty and Chinese consumers’ patriotic preference for homegrown brands like Huawei and Xiaomi, Apple desperately needed to find a new flagship foreign ‘growth market’. And what better choice than opening an Apple store in India, the country that has eclipsed China as the fastest-growing smartphone market in the world?
“India is a very important market in the long term, it’s a challenging market in the short term, but we’re learning a lot. We plan on going in there with sort of all of our might.” Cook’s words after the company’s earnings report.
And after floundering for years, Apple’s share of the Indian smartphone market can only climb. Therefore, opening its first flagship store would be one way to give the launch of the next-generation iPhone a little more ‘oomph’ in India. However, if Apple truly wants to grow its market share in the country, there’s really only one way to make it happen: PRICE CUTS!