Apple Stores coming to India; online this year, brick-and-mortar in 2021

At Apple’s annual meeting of shareholders today, CEO Tim Cook told attendees that the company will open its Apple Store Online in India, the world’s second largest smartphone market, at some point this year, and set up its first flagship brick-and-mortar store in 2021. “I’m a huge believer in the opportunity in India,” said Cook. “It’s a country with a vibrancy and demographics that are just unparalleled.”

Apple Stores coming to India. Image: Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook
Manish Singh for TechCrunch:

For a decade, Apple has solely relied on third-party sellers, stores, and marketplaces to sell its products in India. That will begin to change this year… TechCrunch reported last month that Apple was planning to open its online store in Q3 this year and was unlikely to be able to have its brick-and-mortar store ready in the country this year.

It’s a big market that continues to report growth, but most people in the country can’t afford Apple’s products. In fact, the vast majority of smartphones that ship in India carry a price tag of $150 or lower, according to research firm Counterpoint… Apple has attempted to broaden its appeal in India by looking to reduce prices of its handset…

Apple shipped close to 925,000 iPhone units in India in the quarter that ended in December, research firm Canalys estimated. That figure, up 200% year-over-year, was the iPhone-maker’s best year in the country to date, the research firm added.

MacDailyNews Take: With iPhone owning 75.6% market share of premium smartphones and, more importantly, year-on-year growth of 41% in India, Apple looks like they’re finally on the right track in India. Apple Stores in India, both online and brick-and-mortar, will really accelerate the Apple train in the country.

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