The ‘much-awaited’ online store of Apple in India will be operational from starting of the third quarter of this year. However, it is a little bit longer than previously expected, according to TechCrunch.
Better late than never!
Last year in August, the iPhone-maker stated that it was “eager to serve [customers of India] online and in-store with the same experience and care that Apple customers around the world enjoy.”
However, the company never declared a firm date on when the online and brick-and-mortar stores would be building up in India, it was ideally aiming to begin the online sales in the country in the first quarter of 2020, according to a source familiar with the news. (The launch timeline of the first quarter was first flagged by Bloomberg, which reported that the operations would begin “within months.”)
An Apple spokesperson was not immediately available for an official comment.
According to the source, the company was working on the logistics of setting up the store and that the months between July and September was the latest deadline. Tim Cook, Apple CEO is likely going to plan a trip to India for the announcement, the source said.
Shoot in Sales
The first official physical store of Apple is going to be situated in Mumbai. It is going to take the additional time of few months for setting up that’s why, its Indian consumers might not have an official apple store be by this year, the source said.
India, the second-largest smartphone market of the world, made it easy to source norms for single-brand retailers, making the way for companies such as Apple to start online stores before the presence in the brick-and-mortar market.
An industry executive said on the condition of anonymity, “Apple has been struggling with online retail for years now. Finally, the government adopted its rules to help them launch their online store. But now they are unable to launch it.”
Right now, Apple sells its products in India via allied third-party offline retailers and e-commerce platforms such as Flipkart, Amazon India, and Paytm Mall. Before the policy change of New Delhi, Apple had asked the government several times to ease up the local foreign direct investment (FDI) rules.
For a long time Apple executives have expressed disappointment at e-commerce platforms such as Flipkart, Amazon India, and Paytm Mall for providing heavy discounts on the iPhone and MacBook Air to bolster their respective GMV metrics, TechCrunch reported.
iPhone shipments in India increased by 6% in 2019 compared to a 43% fall in 2018, according to Counterpoint which is a research firm, which predicted that the growth is going to continue this year. Apple has a grip of about 1% on the smartphone market in India.
On Tuesday, Apple declared a record revenue of $91.8 billion for the quarter that wrapped up in December. Cook said in the earnings call that India was among the markets where the company’s revenue grew in “double-digit” in that quarter.
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