MUMBAI: Next week, Apple is set to launch its first online store in India , the company said Friday, aiming to cash in on the country’s festive season and increase its tiny boom market share.
The business is a minor player in India, where South Korean competitor Samsung’s sales of its smartphones lag behind, with the iPhone maker pricing itself strictly at the luxury end of the market.
Its renewed drive toward India comes as Asia’s third-largest economy has reached a record downturn due to a month-long lockdown of coronavirus.
The busiest shopping season in India usually begins in October, with stores offering steep discounts and freebies for customers looking to splurge on big-ticket items as they celebrate famous Hindu festivals like Dussehra and Diwali.
Apple’s online store, which will open on September 23 for business, will offer “a variety of affordability options,” including discounts for students on Macs, iPads and computer accessories, the company said in a press release.
Shoppers may have their AirPods, iPads and Apple Pencils etched in English , Hindi and a host of other Indian languages.
Apple currently sells through third-party retailers in India like Amazon, and due to its giant 1.3 billion population and relatively small number of smartphone owners the country is seen as a major potential market for the company.
According to industry figures, the company has only a two-percent share of the Indian market.
An application to open Apple Stores in India in 2016 was allegedly rebuffed because of a requirement that states must import 30 percent of their goods locally from international retailers.
New Delhi has since relaxed the laws, as part of a drive to attract foreign investment and build employment, allowing businesses up to eight years to fulfil the sourcing criteria.
As part of a push to attract foreign investment and create jobs, New Delhi has since relaxed the rules, giving companies up to eight years to fulfil the sourcing requirements.
Some of its smartphones, including the iPhone 11, are manufactured at facilities in the southern Indian cities of Chennai and Bangalore run by the Taiwanese manufacturers Foxconn and Wistron.
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