In a shareholder meeting held in Cupertino, California, Tim Cook, CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Apple, has confirmed that the company, in 2020, will open an online store in India.
While answering the shareholders’ questions, on Wednesday, Cook said, “We needed to get approval from the government to go in there ourselves,” adding that Apple does not want “somebody else to run the brand” for them.
However, there is still a hurdle that the company has to conquer in order to open its very own India’s first online store which is approval from the Indian Government. Cook said that the company is “working with the government to seek approval” and Cook remains confident in getting the approval soon.
Opening an online store in India can help the company.
Counterpoint Research’s Associate Director, Tarun Pathak said, “We estimate that going forward they won’t restrict to iPhones alone,” adding that “From a users perspective, online is a very important channel in India. But from a volume point of view, we do not expect it to do much for Apple,”.
Pathak said that if Apple setups an e-store in India then it’ll help the company strengthen Its portfolio in the county, assuming it will be a one-stop-shop for the customers.
All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA), National President, Arvinder Khurana says that as companies offer their products and services online, they bring customers into their ecosystems. Adding to this he said, at this moment, in India, companies sell a majority of their products through e-commerce websites such as Amazon and Flipkart for which they give them a cut of their revenue. Opening its own e-store in India will allow Apple to retain the revenues for itself.
The statement of opening up an online store in India from Apple comes in after 6 months of Indian Government’s relaxation to norms pertaining to local sourcing for single-brand retailers in India. This has also been a colossal hurdle that the company has still not been able to overcome and as a result, has not been able to open their physical stores in India till date.
Apple, in a statement, had said, “We love our customers in India and we’re eager to serve them online and in-store with the same experience and care that Apple customers around the world enjoy. 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”.
In the past couple of financial quarters, Apple has reported “double digit growth” and have taken a good chunk of share in the premium smartphone market over the past years.