Apple is set to launch an official first-party presence in India, with the launch of the Apple Online Store beginning next month according to a report today from Bloomberg. This lines up with a Q3 timeline reported by TechCrunch earlier this year.
Apple is finally able to start direct sales in the region as Indian government rules that companies must source 30% of components domestically were relaxed last year. The launch of the Indian Apple Online Store will be followed by the opening of physical stores, starting in Mumbai.
The Mumbai store is currently in development and is set to open in 2021.
Bloomberg says that Apple has already scouted a location for its second India store, located in Bangalore near Minsk Square.
Previously, Apple has had to rely on a network of third-party resellers to sell its products.
For a long time, Apple has looked at India as a potential growth market for iPhone sales, having already saturated most other regions. India’s population of 1.3 billion people is tantalizing, however relative earnings remain low and Apple’s premium priced products are out of reach to many. Over the last few years, Apple has kicked off manufacturing of iPhone models in India to avoid foreign tax penalties in an effort to keep prices down.
Apple’s share of overall Indian smartphone sales remains small. However, it is beginning to capture the high-end market segments, which inspires potential for long term sales growth as the spending power of Indian consumers gradually rises.