Apple site shortlist hints at first potential retail outlet for India

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in General Discussion
Apple is getting closer to opening its first major outlet in India, a report claims, with the iPhone maker said to have produced a shortlist of upmarket locations in Mumbai that could host an Apple Store, if it can gain the favor of the country's government.




India is a promising emerging market that Apple is finding tricky to penetrate, with low single-digit market share despite its efforts. While it does have some local manufacturing efforts in the country, Apple has so far yet to open a store that it owns, instead relying on a network of resellers, but this may change in the future.

According to sources of Bloomberg, Apple has finalized a shortlist of locations for its first retail store in India. "Several upscale sites in Mumbai" have been selected, supposedly comparable to other iconic stores like on the Champs-Elysees in Paris and Fifth Avenue in New York, with the discussions on locations said to be ongoing in private.

Apple is barred from being able to open its own stores in the country due to product sourcing rules, including one that requires at least 30 percent of goods must be sourced from within India. This requirement was relaxed in early 2018, adding that for a five-year period companies could sell India-produced goods in other countries to meet the needed percentage.

Work towards the 30 percent includes a select number of iPhone models that are currently being produced in the country for domestic sale. Along with the iPhone 6s, manufacturing partner Wistron also builds the iPhone 7 for local distribution, meanwhile Foxconn is rumored to be preparing a trial run of the iPhone X in the country in time for production of the 2019 models.

Despite the relaxation, Apple has still yet to open a store, but it is continuing to be in negotiations with the government allowing it to do so. Discussions are ongoing, but the supposed scouting for locations suggests Apple is confident it will be able to open a store soon.

In March, it was revealed Apple wanted to reestablish its position as a premium device in the market, a plan that involved raising the base cost of iPhones. Owning its own flagship store in the country would likely go some way to promoting the premium nature of its products.

Current retail efforts in the country involve a network of resellers, but even those are facing changes. The March reports also indicated Apple wanted to reduce the number of smaller stores, as well as reduce the number of trade partners who operate each of the stores, under the guise of "deepening the relationship" with them.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 4
    iOS_Guy80iOS_Guy80 Posts: 176member
    Looks like Deirdre will be making a trip to India to help open her first retail store. Unless of course Apple Fifth Ave, in NYC finally finishes its renovations after how many years?
  • Reply 2 of 4
    FolioFolio Posts: 567member
    At what point does Apple tell current Indian govt enough foot dragging, if you want a more productive creative top workforce, you might do what every other advanced economy... and allow your population greater choice. Otherwise we'll start in Bangladesh and try you again in four years
  • Reply 3 of 4
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,140member
    Folio said:
    At what point does Apple tell current Indian govt enough foot dragging, if you want a more productive creative top workforce, you might do what every other advanced economy... and allow your population greater choice. Otherwise we'll start in Bangladesh and try you again in four years
    Bangladesh does not have any good infrastructure for manufacturing. The closest it can do any large scale phone manufacturing is in 2028. Plus Bangladesh has a 34% import tax, which dampens demand with 90% of iPhones being bought from gray market(luggage & refurbished). Plus Bangladesh has only 160 Million population, whereas India has 1.35 Billion. The marketplace of India is simply ,too valuable for  to ignore.
    cornchip
  • Reply 4 of 4
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,652member
    Folio said:
    At what point does Apple tell current Indian govt enough foot dragging, if you want a more productive creative top workforce, you might do what every other advanced economy... and allow your population greater choice. Otherwise we'll start in Bangladesh and try you again in four years
    Bangladesh does not have any good infrastructure for manufacturing. The closest it can do any large scale phone manufacturing is in 2028. Plus Bangladesh has a 34% import tax, which dampens demand with 90% of iPhones being bought from gray market(luggage & refurbished). Plus Bangladesh has only 160 Million population, whereas India has 1.35 Billion. The marketplace of India is simply ,too valuable for  to ignore.
    I wonder if Apple is exploring the possibility of moving more manufacturing to India as a "Plan B" to get away from its dependence on China.  
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