Apple announces opening dates for retail stores in Mumbai, Delhi
The announcement of a retail store in India assumes significance as the Cupertino-based tech giant is shifting its production base to India from China
NEW DELHI: Apple on Tuesday announced the opening dates of its first two retail stores in India -- Apple BKC in Mumbai on April 18 and Apple Saket in Delhi on April 20. The company called this move a "significant expansion in India" that will offer great new ways to browse, discover, and buy Apple products with exceptional service and experiences for customers.
“Customers will be able to stop by to explore Apple’s latest product lineup, find creative inspiration and get personalized service and support from the store’s team of Specialists, Creatives, and Geniuses,” said the company in a statement.
The announcement of a retail store in India assumes significance as the Cupertino-based tech giant is shifting its production base to India from China. Its assembling plants in China faced a complete shutdown in 2022 due to China’s zero-Covid policy. Also, the tension between the US and the Chinese government is another reason that American technology companies are shifting their base to India or Vietnam.
According to Counterpoint Research, Apple may cross a 5% market share this year, from 1% in 2019. In February 2023, Apple CEO Tim Cook, in an earnings call, said India is a hugely exciting market for Apple and is a major focus.
"We actually did fairly well through COVID in India. And I'm even more bullish now on the other side of it, or hopefully, on the other side of it. And that's the reason why we're investing there. We're bringing retail there and bringing the online store there and putting a significant amount of energy there," he added.
In 2022, Apple started assembling the latest iPhone 14 models in India, weeks after its launch. In India, Apple’s iPhones are manufactured by its contract manufacturers Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron.
According to market intelligence firm IDC, Apple has done very well across categories in the past couple of years, especially in iPhone sales. It sold around 6.7 million units in 2022, as against 4.8 million in 2021 and 2.7 million in 2020.
"While Apple has taken time to for its retail store foray in India, it makes sense now more than ever. The premium Indian consumer is maturing and spending more, especially at the premium end, which makes India the next big growth market in the next decade for Apple – across product and service categories," said Navkendar Singh, an analyst at IDC.
Faisal Kawoosa, founder and chief analyst at researcher TechARC said Apple's opening up of retail stores in India reinforces their commitment towards India as well as is an indicator of their serious outlook towards India as a market.
"With this Apple will now be able to showcase holistic experience to its consumers which was till now confined to product experience," added Kawoosa.
The barricade for Apple Saket features a unique design that takes inspiration from Delhi’s many gates, each signifying a new chapter to the city’s storied past. The Mumbai store will be themed around kaali-peeli taxi art unique to the city.
"We think branded stores will further strengthen the overall experience of being in an Apple ecosystem. Apple will be able to control the end-to-end user experience and this will further take its brand image to one level up. Between as per Counterpoint research city level tracker- Mumbai contributed to 10 per cent of the iPhone sales and second largest for Apple (After Delhi)," Tarun Pathak from Counterpoint Research.