Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

Apple is gearing as much as open a duo of bodily retail shops in India this week — one other signal of the South Asian nation’s rising significance to the tech large. CEO Tim Cook dinner is anticipated to preside over Apple’s inaugural retail retailer opening within the nation’s monetary capital Mumbai on Tuesday. A second location within the Indian capital of New Delhi opens on April 20. Cook dinner has beforehand spoken about Apple’s view of India, saying he is a “enormous believer” within the alternatives the nation presents.

The opening of Apple’s first brick-and-mortar retailer in India is a part of the corporate’s broader retail push into the nation, the place its market share is comparatively small in contrast with the South Asian nation’s inhabitants. Round 620 million of India’s roughly 1.4 billion individuals personal a smartphone, making India one of many largest cellphone markets on the planet, in addition to one of many greatest alternatives for development, in keeping with Counterpoint Analysis Director Tarun Pathak.

“Apple has a chance to focus on tens of hundreds of thousands of smartphones in gross sales yearly from 6 million models presently,” Pathak advised CNET. “Comparatively, Apple sells greater than 50 million models yearly in markets similar to China and USA every.”

Howdy, Mumbai

Apple previewed its Mumbai retailer location this week forward of the official opening. The flagship retailer, referred to as BKC Apple, is a 22,000-square-foot area in an upscale shopping center on the Bandra Kurla Advanced. The shop’s design is impressed by Mumbai’s iconic kaali peeli (black and white) taxis and is amongst Apple’s most sustainable places, the corporate says. It is unfold over two ranges, together with a tree-lined floor stage that options Apple’s signature merchandise.

Apple is emphasizing the Mumbai retailer’s deal with sustainability.


“At Apple, our prospects are on the middle of every little thing we do, and our groups are excited to have a good time this excellent second with them as we open our first retail retailer in India,” stated Deirdre O’ Brien, Apple’s senior vp of retail. 

Previous to this, customers in India had been restricted to buying Apple merchandise from “Apple Premium Resellers” or third-party retailers, which needed to purchase a license from Apple to promote gadgets. Prospects additionally store at Apple’s official on-line retailer, which opened in September 2020. 

Apple says its retail workers are prepared to assist prospects find out about Apple merchandise, other ways to pay and the best way to change to iOS.


“Indian shoppers have been shopping for their iPhones from numerous retail and eTail shops, and can most likely proceed to take action, however an Apple Retailer in two of its greatest cities in India may also give the purchasers an opportunity to expertise the Apple model, and never simply the merchandise.” Kiranjeet Kaur, affiliate analysis director at IDC, advised CNET in an e-mail. 

“Shopping for a premium cellphone requires extra contact and really feel, and shoppers want to purchase costly telephones from places they’ll belief,” stated Neil Shah, vp of analysis and Counterpoint. “Till now, Apple had totally different franchises which can or might not provide the identical excessive contact service, shopping for and post-purchase expertise.”

Made in India

The dual retail shops open their doorways as Apple more and more appears past China as a producing base to nations similar to India. Final yr, Foxconn, one in every of Apple’s high iPhone suppliers, was pressured to quickly halt operations at its principal iPhone Metropolis complicated in Zhengzhou, China, following a citywide lockdown as a consequence of a COVID-19 outbreak. 

Ming-Chi Kuo, a longtime Apple analyst, wrote in a put up on Twitter that greater than 10% of worldwide iPhone manufacturing capability was affected by the state of affairs on the Zhengzhou campus. Foxconn makes an estimated 70% of Apple’s iPhones, in keeping with Reuters.

The newest survey & touch upon the COVID-19 lockdown affect on the Foxconn Zhengzhou iPhone vegetation

— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) October 30, 2022

On the identical time, India has doled out incentives to spice up native manufacturing. In response to an April report by Bloomberg, Apple tripled iPhone manufacturing in India to the tune of $7 billion in 2022, accounting for 7% of whole iPhone manufacturing. That is a soar from 1% in 2021. This development is a results of partnerships with Taiwanese suppliers Foxconn and Pegatron.

“For shoppers exterior India, the advantages to a diversified provide chain are comparatively opaque till there is a provide chain shock — a political, pandemic, or disruptive climate occasion,” stated Avi Greengart, analyst at Techsponential. “Even then they will not discover that there is a downside — and that is the purpose. As a substitute of coping with transport delays, restricted selection, larger costs, or all three, they’ll be capable of store as standard and purchase the iPhone that they need.”

Apple nonetheless depends closely on China for almost all of its iPhone manufacturing, however Taiwanese contract producer Pegatron is reportedly planning to spice up manufacturing in India, because it eyes opening a second manufacturing unit within the area. Foxconn, in the meantime, reportedly plans to speculate about $700 million in a plant in a southern state to make cellphone elements and probably iPhones. Analysts say Apple may start manufacturing the next-generation iPhone in India.

“I will not be shocked if Apple does [manufacture the iPhone 15 in India]. Apple had began manufacturing iPhone 14 fashions (besides the Professional sequence) in India quickly after launch and was exporting these fashions to markets such because the US, Europe and the Center East,” Kaur stated. “India presently accounts for a really small share of iPhone manufacturing (<5%) however we count on this to develop not simply to account for native consumption but additionally exports.” 

Apple already manufactures the iPhone 14 in India, which is assembled at a Foxconn manufacturing unit within the outskirts of the southern metropolis of Chennai. The tech large has been making iPhones in India since 2017, however these are typically older fashions.

Apple’s invite for the opening of its Mumbai retail retailer.


For all of the promise India holds, it does not come with out difficulties. The South Asian nation is not identified for its ease of doing enterprise, with a well-documented penchant for crimson tape and sudden adjustments in laws. Apple can also must pony up excessive import duties for elements, amongst different provides it wants.

Nonetheless, the lure of India proves robust. The India Apple shops had been rumored to open way back to 2016 earlier than lastly truly changing into a actuality Tuesday after a sequence of delays. It comes roughly twenty years after Apple arrange store in Asia, with a flagship retailer in Tokyo in 2003. 

“India’s 620 million smartphone customers are shopping for their third or fourth smartphones,” Shah stated. “Consequently, contemplating rising dependence on smartphones for every little thing, individuals are choosing higher and dearer telephones.”

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