Apple to launch online store in India, physical retail outlets planned soon: CEO Tim Cook

In Apple’s annual shareholder meeting held in Cupertino, California, on February 26, CEO Tim Cook shared that the company will be launching its online store in India in 2020.

Recently the government of India eased the 30 percent local sourcing norm in single-brand retail (SBRT). And that is when Cook took the opportunity to comment about the stores. The iPhone maker in August expressed its interest in kicking off its branded retail stores in the country by saying “eager to serve” customers through online and retail stores.

“I don’t want somebody else to run the brand for us,” said Cook, explaining why there is a need to have their own store.

Apple products have long been sold by third-party Apple authorised distributors and retailers, who also seemingly handle most of the marketing right now.

“We wouldn’t be a very good partner in retail,” Cook added. “We like to do things our way.”

Apple CEO did not offer specifics on when exactly we can see the Apple stores in the country.

If we go by a previous report, Apple would start selling its devices through its online store sometime between October to December. The company was originally speculated to start its online retail business in the country in the first quarter.

In addition to its online store, Apple is rumoured to have plans to open its first physical Indian store in Mumbai. Some reports also indicated the launch of a similar store in New Delhi at a later stage.

In August last year, Apple was seen to be interested in retail operations in India.

“We appreciate the support and hard work by Prime Minister Modi and his team to make this possible and we look forward to one-day welcoming customers to India’s first Apple retail store. It will take us some time to get our plans underway and we’ll have more to announce at a future date,” the company had said in a press statement at that time, without revealing any concrete timeline.


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