After long delays citing issues regarding approvals and permissions, Apple is finally set to open its first retail store in India next year. The announcement was made by Apple CEO Tim Cook at an annual shareholder meeting in Cupertino, California, on Wednesday. The electronics giant also plans to open an online store in India this year, he added.

“I don’t want somebody else to run the brand for us,” he was quoted as saying. “We wouldn’t be a very good partner in retail. We like to do things our way,” the Apple CEO mentioned.

Apple has been bullish about the prospects of its retail business in India. Tim Cook says the country presents unparalleled avenues of growth owing to its huge smartphone customer base.

Welcoming the government’s decision to ease the 30 percent local sourcing norm in single-brand retail (SBRT), Apple said last year: “We appreciate the support and hard work by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his team to make this possible and we look forward to one day welcoming customers to India’s first Apple retail store.”

Apple peaked a 75.6 percent market share in the fourth quarter last year in India owing to the stellar performance of iPhone 11 and price drop on previous-generation models. The company also has been faring well in the wearables and accessories departments(thanks to its fragile cables and their sky-high prices)

Apple currently sells its products via third-party reseller outlets. The exclusive online store is planned to go live in the third quarter this year. At present, the California based company sells its products online via third-party e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart.

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