Settle down, fellow gadget freaks because the biggest Apple news for India is here! You will soon be able to buy your Apple devices from Apple’s own online store in the country. This, in turn, is likely to lead to a major reduction in the prices of the much aspired Apple iPhones and will give you an authentic experience of the device. Apart from that, we will also have access to numerous other after-sale services and accessories that we were deprived of earlier.
While the physical Apple Stores will have to wait its turn in India, the company plans first to launch its very own online stores this year. Parading on the fact that the local manufacturers can have a direct online presence in the country Apple has decided towards this big step.
As reported by 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 launch the online store in India around Diwali,”
Since this new business opportunity will have potential, Apple has negotiated with the Government of India for the rights to sell iPhones directly in the country. Earlier this year in March the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple would begin the process in the coming 4 to 6 weeks.
According to the report, the company eventually plans to open 4 to 5 flagship retail stores over a period to five to 10 years, following the initial direct sales through the online channel of Apple. This is because Apple stores require huge space to suit its architectural design and are built only over iconic locations which are limited. The offline Apple Stores will initially be set up in the metros only.
Apple will begin manufacturing 4,00,000 iPhone SE handsets in India, which is likely to result in a lower price for customers. And according to the recent reports, Apple claims to start online sales for iPhone SE in India around Diwali, i.e., October.
There are also plans to sell some accessories that will be sourced from India. Around 50 to 55% of iPhones sales in India is generated from online sales as compared to the average 30% in the smartphone industry.
The report also states the possibility of customization including laser engraving that we’ve so far seen on iPads but not on iPhones. Apple also plans not to compete on price with other online marketplaces for their products that will be sold in their online stores. “Instead, Apple plans to differentiate its online store in India from marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart by offering value-added services such as laser engraving to personalise the handset, sell models or variants which are exclusive such as a dedicated model, colour option or storage space, the executive said.”- ET reports
Apple has recently opened its first ever App Accelerator location for local developers. As part of this Apple news in India, Apple CEO Tim Cook quoted saying, “India is home to one of the most vibrant and entrepreneurial iOS development communities in the world.” He further added saying, “With the opening of this new facility in Bengaluru, we’re giving developers access to tools which will help them create innovative apps for customers around the world.”
Currently, Apple operates its online stores in 39 countries out of which only 20 countries have company owned offline stores as well. India is about to join the race with the rest of the countries.
The local assembling of Apple the will start with iPhone SE in a facility at Bangalore through Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron. They also plan to scale it up to a few other iPhone models eventually and is open to start manufacturing with its other global partner Foxconn which is already operating a couple of plants in India.
Apple will set up manufacturing operations in the country including its component manufacturers and has claimed tax exemption from the government for it. The government is, however, yet to give its approval on the sought after concession.
As Indians, we have a lot to look forward from Apple right now. The Apple Stores will certainly pave a way to from an authentic user experience, something that the third party retailers in India will never be able to replicate.
Since the past year, a group of 40 employees have been working out of their office in Gurgaon in the NCR region to facilitate the growth of the business in the country. However, they plan to build their headquarters in Hyderabad.