Apple is finally set to open its first retail store in India later this month, after selling products and services in the country for nearly two decades. The store, called Apple BKC, is located in the Jio World Drive Mall in Mumbai and is the first of many planned stores in India. Apple has also announced plans to launch a second store in New Delhi in the coming months. The company had initially planned to open its first store in 2021 but delayed the launch due to the pandemic. India is the world’s second largest smartphone market, and Apple is aggressively hiring employees for its stores in the country. The company’s manufacturing partners, Foxconn and Wistron, have also ramped up local assembling of Apple products in recent months. Analysts predict that by 2025, Apple will produce 25% of all iPhones in India.
According to reports, Apple has been making efforts to expand its operations in India for a few years now. In addition to its plans to open physical retail stores, the company has also been increasing its investments in the country’s tech industry. In 2019, Apple announced that it would be establishing an app development center in Bangalore, India’s tech hub.
The move to open physical stores in India comes after the Indian government relaxed its foreign direct investment rules, allowing companies to own and operate their retail stores without a local partner. Previously, foreign companies had to work with a local partner and could only own up to 51% of their Indian retail operations.
Apple has faced fierce competition in the Indian smartphone market, which is dominated by Chinese companies like Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo. However, the company has been making efforts to increase its market share by offering competitive pricing and expanding its product line in the country.
India is an important market for Apple, as the country has a population of over 1.3 billion people and a growing middle class. With the opening of its first retail store in Mumbai, Apple hopes to gain a foothold in this lucrative market and further expand its presence in the country.