While we may have to wait for the opening of Apple retail stores in India, we could soon have access to the company’s official online store in the country. As per fresh reports, Apple is planning to sell its devices via its own online store. The company is going forward based on the fact that local manufacturers can have a direct online presence in India.
Apple will initially start its online store by selling iPhone SE, which will be manufactured in India. As the company starts expanding its local production portfolio, it will start selling other devices on the store as well.
It appears that Apple’s plans for an online store do not require regulatory approval for foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail as the government allows manufacturers to directly sell locally manufactured models online. One of the sources told ET:
Apple will initially start its online store by selling iPhone SE which will be manufactured in India and will be in line with government policies. The company is hopeful to start the online store in India around Diwali.
Along with iPhone SE, the company is also expected to sell some accessories, which will also be sourced from India. For Apple, about 50-55% of the iPhones sold in India is generated from online sales as compared to the smartphone industry average of 30%.
The report further notes that Apple doesn’t plan on competing with other online marketplaces on the price front. Instead, it plans to differentiate its store in India by offering value-added services. This could include laser engraving, exclusive models and variants like dedicated models, color options or storage space.
Once launched, this will the company’s 40th country to have its own online store. Currently, Apple operates its online store in just 39 countries, including several of them which do not have the company-owned offline stores. The company has its own offline stores in just about twenty countries.
Apple is all set to start the local assembling of iPhoneSE through Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron’s facility in Bengaluru. The Cupertino giant has plans to scale it up to other iPhone models and is also open to kickstart such process with its other global partner Foxconn. Notably, Foxconn is already operating a couple of plants in India.