Apple will open its first stores in India next week, Tim Cook may visit

A view of the first company-owned Apple store in India to be launched inside the Jio World Drive mall at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai.

Ashish Vaishnav | Sopa Pictures | Light flare | Getty Images

Apple is set to open its first physical stores in India next week, underscoring the country’s importance to the US tech company’s future in iPhone sales and manufacturing,

The Cupertino giant will open a store in Mumbai on April 18 and in the Indian capital Delhi on April 20.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook can go to India to open the stores, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. This decision underlines its optimism towards the world’s fifth largest economy.

The visit of the cook, almost 7 years since her maiden voyage to Indiacomes as Apple seeks to boost retail sales of its products and its manufacturing business locally.

Apple has strengthened its inroads into the Indian market, which has been dominated by low- and mid-priced smartphones from companies such as Samsung and Xiaomi. iPhone shipments were up 16% year-over-year in 2022 and Apple was the top player in the premium segment of the market, which are phones above $365, according to Counterpoint Research. While only now looking to open its first physical outlet in India, the company has had an online store there since 2020.

“I’m very optimistic for India,” Cook said on a February earnings call covering Apple’s results for the December quarter, when the tech giant saw record iPhone revenue in India, while the number of regional iPhone users jumped to “double digits”. “

Apple is “putting a significant amount of energy” into India, Cook pointed out at the time.

Retail is just one step. On the manufacturing side, Apple started assembling its flagship iPhone 14 in India last year – the first time the company produced its latest device in the country, so close to its initial launch. Piyush Goyal, India’s trade and industry minister, said in January that Apple aims to manufacture 25% of all its iPhones in India.

The manufacturing push in India comes as Apple seeks to reduce its dependence on China, where it currently manufactures the bulk of its iPhones. The fragilities in China were revealed last year, after production has been interrupted by a Covid-19 outbreak And workers’ demonstrations in the world’s largest iPhone factory in Zhengzhou, China, run by Taiwanese company Foxconn.

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