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Credits: https://www.apple.com/in/mac/

Apple all set to open two retail stores in India

The technology giant has announced the opening of its first two retail stores in India on April 18th and 20th. The retail store at Mumbai’s Jio World Drive mall is scheduled to open on April 18th and the one in Saket located in the national capital is set to open on April 20th. 

Apple's Mumbai store
Credits: https://india.postsen.com/business/391774.html

What about the stores you saw earlier? 

The stores that you came across in the past whenever you went out shopping in malls and other markets in India were not Apple retail stores. They were neither owned nor operated by Apple employees, in fact, they were just dealers who procured the accessories from the brand to sell them for their own benefit. 

Why did Apple not introduce retail stores earlier?

With the coming of these two retail locations in India, a lot of technology enthusiasts are questioning why the high-end electronics company did not start any such stores sooner. It is to be noted that in 2020, Apple announced the coming of its first retail store in the country which was expected to be set up to start operations in 2021. However, there were some challenges that the brand faced that prevented it from starting these stores at the right time. 

The challenges Apple faced: 

  1. COVID-19: The pandemic had well-seen effects on all parts of our lives and it is not a shocker for it to also have hindered the progress of the technology giant. The lockdowns that accompanied the virus outbreak were also majorly responsible for the delay that was experienced. 
  2. Government Schemes: Apple had a hard time negotiating deals with the government and it is possible that the iPhone manufacturer also had to significantly delay their plans of opening retail stores to get their operations ready based on government terms. One such policy is the Production Linked Incentive Scheme better known as the PLI. As per this policy, Apple had to procure at least 30% of the products that it used to manufacture iPhones from within the country. The PLI scheme ensures that the companies which want to earn profits in India also give mutual benefits to the market within the country.

Why open a store now?

It is very well put by a Quora user that where there is money, there is Apple (emoji). While Apple sales went down in other countries during the pandemic, they almost doubled in India in the same period. As per a report the sales of the company went from 2.7 million units in 2020 to 4.8 million units in 2021 to 6.7 million units in 2022. These statistics were enough for the brand to realize its potential growth in the Indian smartphone market. 

Apple’s standing in the smartphone market: 

The company already had a massive following in the most affluent families but there has been a recent trend that notes that people with lower incomes are also purchasing Apple products. This signifies that Apple products have become a symbol of a person’s background, something the brand led by CEO Tim Cook is surely going to take as much benefit from as possible. Although the company owns only 3% of the smartphone market shares in India because most users are still purchasing phones worth INR 20,000 or less, the promising experience that an Apple retail store provides to anyone who walks in is expected to change these statistics. 

Do retail stores imply lower costs? 

While the retail stores themselves would not reduce the cost of Apple products to Indian users of the brand, the schemes like PLI which have forced the company to promote manufacturing within India might impact the prices. In recent years, Apple has been considering amping their manufacturing in India not just to meet the needs within the country but also for export purposes. The financial incentives provided to the company by the government have motivated the supply partners of the brand: Foxconn, Pegatron and Wistron to increase production in India. As per a report, it is possible that by 2025, Apple might be manufacturing as much as 25% of its products in India.