Apple Opens Its First Online Store In India, Paving The Way For An Apple Store Coming Next Year

Aadhya Khatri - Sep 24, 2020


Apple Opens Its First Online Store In India, Paving The Way For An Apple Store Coming Next Year

On Wednesday, Apple’s online store for India went live, offering almost the entire product lineup of the iPhone maker, along with a wide range of services

Apple has been on the Indian market for more than 20 years but it wasn’t until recently that it’s able to sell its gadgets directly to consumers of the world’s second-largest smartphone market.

On Wednesday, Apple’s online store for India went live, offering almost the entire product lineup of the iPhone maker, along with a wide range of services to Indian users.

With this online store, India is now the 38th market where the company has its virtual Apple Store.

Indian users now have access to AppleCare+, which comes with an extended warranty for the company's products as well as the trade-in program which offers users a discount when they purchase new hardware.

Applecare+
Indian users now have access to AppleCare+, which comes with an extended warranty for the company's products as well as the trade-in program

Plus, Indian users now enjoy Apple supports via telephone or chat. A team of experts is also available to give customers pieces of advice before they buy anything.

Customized hardware like Mac computers, iMac, Mac Mini, and MacBook Air now comes directly from Apple. The offer was started in May through the authorized partners of the company. Users can also make a purchase through monthly installments.

In January, many reports surfaced suggesting that Apple would have its first online store in India in the quarter ending in September, following by the first brick-and-mortar Apple Store next year.

According to Jayanth Kolla, consultancy company Convergence Catalyst’s chief analyst, this online store meant a lot more to Apple than to Indian consumers.

He said the iPhone maker started with branding, marketing, and some other investments before it set up the first store in any market.

Apple Store
The iPhone maker starts with branding, marketing, and some other investments before it set up the first store in any market

In India, Apple does have ads and billboards setting up but it was the company’s partners that control the marketing effort, not the Cupertino tech giant itself.

The iPhone maker does pour in some investment but these campaigns are still led by its partners.

The last few years have seen Apple’s interest in India increase quickly as the country’s smartphone market shows a fast pace growth.

After two years, Apple now has some of its most advanced devices locally assembled in India, along with other accessories.

Before having its devices manufactured locally, Apple had been passing custom duty charges to buyers for years. And now, when it has met the Indian government requirements to avoid this tax, the iPhone maker can now offer a lower price for Indian users.

iPhone 11 Pro Max, a model recently assembled locally, is sold in India for Rs. 1,11,200 on Amazon.in and AirPods Pro comes at the price of Rs 24,900.

iPhone 11 Pro Max
iPhone 11 Pro Max, a model recently assembled locally, is sold in India for Rs. 1,11,200

Apple has been trying to open its stores in India for years, but unsuccessfully, due to local regulations. Recent quarters have seen these regulations eased, paving the way for companies like the Cupertino tech giant to set up a more solid standing in the country.

In 2019, the Indian government’s sourcing norms were made less severe, allowing Apple and companies like it to open an online store before going offline with physical stores.

In 2020, a $6.6 billion incentive program was launched with the ultimate goal is to accelerate local smartphone manufacturing. Among those who have applied for the program are Samsung- South Korean tech giant, and Apple’s partners, including Pegatron, Foxconn, and Wistron.

According to Kolka, Apple chose a different path to other foreign firms, which focus mainly on providing free services and cheap prices. The iPhone maker wants to sell to a very small number of Indians who can pay for premium gadgets and services.

This strategy has been working just fine for the Cupertino tech giant. Apple is now the leading smartphone provider in India’s premium smartphone market.

Apple premium smartphone market india
Apple is now the leading smartphone provider in India’s premium smartphone market

However, that isn’t entirely true. Apple did adjust its prices a bit to better fit in the local market. Apple Music, which comes at the monthly fee of roughly Rs. 738 in the US, costs Rs. 49 in India. And Apple One, the company’s bundle including TV+, music service, iCloud, and Arcade, will set an Indian user back Rs. 195.

Many customers said while they loved the company’s ecosystem and hardware over Android counterparts, they wish they had access to more of its services. Many Apple offerings, like its payment service, and news service, are still missing in India.

The Cupertino tech giant has timed the launch just right as it’s just a few weeks before the company launched its iPhone 12 and a month before the festive season Diwali when most Indians are in the mood to splurge.

>>> More Made-In-India iPhones Will Soon Come As Apple's Partner Pegatron Has Started Operation In The Country

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