Apple Inc is all set to open an online store for the first time in India’s fast-growing smartphone market next month, according to a report by Bloomberg.
The online shop will be operational shortly before the festive Dussehra Diwali season, as per the report.
The iPhone maker, who campaigned for New Delhi for years to circumvent regulations that force companies like Apple to source 30% of its components locally, originally planned to start selling online within months after the government relaxed the rule last year.
Earlier, these plans have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Apple currently sells its devices in India through franchise stores and online platforms including Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc. and Flipkart Online Retails Services Pvt. Ltd.
Selling through its own stores and through its website could help the company take control of branding and build customer loyalty while measuring up against competitors like China’s OnePlus and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co.
In addition to expanding its retail presence in India, the Cupertino, California-based device maker has assembled its latest cell phones, the iPhone SE and iPhone 11, in the country through its manufacturing partners Foxconn Technology Group and Wistron Corp., another assembly partner, Pegatron Corp. will set up its first plant in India.
According to researcher IDC, Apple dominated India’s premium smartphone segment in the second quarter with a market share of 49%.
The newer iPhone 11 and iPhone XR together accounted for 28% of high-end shipments, suggesting that demand for more expensive iPhones is growing, unlike a few years ago when cheaper and old models were a big part of iPhone sales accounted for.