Apple is looking all set to go for an aggressive expansion plan in one of the fastest growing smartphone markets in the world, India. As per a report today in the Times of India, the over $700 Billion Cupertino giant is planning to open as many as 500 exclusive retail stores in India, including Tier II and Tier III cities.
Apple has never really been among the mainline brands in Indian smartphone market. This is partly due to Government’s excessive import duties and partly because of Apple’s lessened interest in a market, which is currently insignificant in sales numbers as compared to rivals like China.
But this is soon going to change. Apple’s sales, though in small numbers, have been picking up at a steady pace among India’s rapidly developing middle-class. The company sold over 1 Million Apple products by the end of September 2014 and is expecting to triple the sales to upto 3 Million.
A top company official told Times of India,
All this will change now. The company is finalizing plans to become a serious player in India, which is being seen as a strategic and one of the most promising markets globally.
The official also confirmed that Apple has “tentatively approved” this rapid expansion plan and aims to open stores in a 300-600 sq ft area, considerably smaller than the 2000 sq ft stores which the company currently operates in Tier I cities.
The company is planning to adopt a franchise-based model where it could partner with Redington, its current distribution partner in India. We have contacted Apple for comments and will update you as soon we receive a response.