Apple still relies on third-party retailers to sell its products in India, and the company is adding a second online retail partner to help ahead of India’s iPhone 7 launch next month. While the iPhone 7 goes on sale in 30 additional countries around the world today, India is set to kick off iPhone 7 sales on October 7.
BGR India reports that Flipkart is Apple’s second online retail partner in the country, joining Infibeam:
The partnership will be win-win for both Apple and Flipkart. For Apple, it ensures that the iPhones are sold at its mandated pricing and it doesn’t lead to price erosion as it had happened last year with the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus where Flipkart, Amazon and Paytm started discounting iPhones to gain GMV. For Flipkart, it will not only have to bleed money in discounts but will also get marketing support from Apple.
Despite the focus on India as a growing market and huge opportunity for Apple, selling iPhones in the region has been far more complex for the company than in other countries around the world which hasn’t helped sales.
It was reported earlier this month that Apple could be planning to manufacture some iPhones in India through Foxconn, which has previously been rumored. Doing so could help Apple in the long-term as it continues to struggle with its own retail presence in India.
Back in July, it was reported that the local government was planning to give the final go-ahead on allowing Apple to bring its retail stores to the country, although the wind has changed in all directions in recent months as details over where iPhones are manufactured and exceptions to local law have been at issue.
For its part, Apple has focused on assisting the app developer economy in India with its app accelerator effort while Tim Cook has met and lobbied government officials in an effort to sway their decision. At any rate, iPhone 7 customers in India next month will have one more official online retail option on October 7 until Apple eventually gets the green light to sell its products directly.