Apple to open its first flagship store in India in 2021: CEO Tim Cook

Apple to open its first flagship store in India in 2021: CEO Tim Cook
The company has reportedly leased a location in Mumbai for its upcoming branded retail store but is yet to reveal its exact location (Representational Image, Courtesy: cultofmac.com)

After a long wait, Apple is set to open its first branded retail store in India in 2021, company CEO Tim Cook said.

Speaking to investors at the annual shareholder meeting at Apple Park in Cupertino, California on Wednesday, Cook confirmed the company will open its first offline retail outlet in the world’s second-biggest smartphone market next year.

The development was first reported by Apple Insider.

“I don’t want somebody else to run the brand for us. We wouldn’t be a very good partner in retail. We like to do things our way” the Apple CEO was quoted as saying.

Apple’s flagship retail stores are an integral part of its ecosystem as it allows the company to control every aspect of the customer experience in terms of purchase or service.

The company has reportedly leased a location in Mumbai for its upcoming branded retail store but is yet to reveal its exact location or any other details. Meanwhile, its exclusive online store is expected to start functioning in the third quarter this year.

The Cupertino-based tech giant is currently selling its devices in India via third-party offline retailers and e-commerce platforms like Flipkart and Amazon.in.

Despite being bullish on the Indian market, the company was unable to open its own retail store due to prevailing norms. However, the government’s decision to ease the 30 percent local sourcing norm in single-brand retail (SBRT) has removed that roadblock.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), Apple reached a record 75.6 percent market share in the premium (Rs 36,000 & above) segment in Q4 2019 in India owing to the stellar performance of iPhone 11 and price drop on previous-generation models.

Meanwhile, Apple’s largest franchise-run outlet in the country – or Flagship Apple Premium Reseller (FAPR) store – opened at High Street Phoenix Mall in Mumbai’s Lower Parel area in August last year.

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