Apple opens first official store in India, signals first-tier market status

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Apple fans and technology enthusiasts in India have been eagerly awaiting the opening of the country’s first official Apple Store, which finally opened its doors in Mumbai last week. Despite being almost two years late, the store attracted long queues, with fans camping out in front of cameras and bringing their most prized possessions to the opening.

The Apple Store is a sign that India is finally a first-tier market for the company, which had previously relied on resellers and e-commerce marketplaces to sell its products. With the launch of its native e-commerce operations in September 2020, Apple went direct to consumers, and the store opening marks its second major step in establishing its native sales stack in India.

Apple CEO Tim Cook visited India to inaugurate both the Mumbai and Delhi stores and meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss Apple’s plans and pain points in India. Cook has said that the company is looking to take a page out of its China growth story for the Indian market.

In China, the company has nearly 25% market share. Besides understanding how Apple is likely to expand its manufacturing capabilities in India, the meeting with Modi is expected to touch on topics such as employment created by Apple in India.

Analysts believe that the first few Apple Stores in India will be more about marketing than sales. There are a lot of consumers who may not be aware of the extensive Apple ecosystem from the accessories to services. The Apple Store is a major step because of just how grand the experience is.

At one point in time, the online contribution to Apple’s India sales was as high as 60%, and all of this has come on the back of e-commerce sales. A key part of Apple’s strategy in India has been to increase hardware penetration while more or less keeping services as a secondary revenue pipeline.

Devices such as Apple Watch, AirPods and smartphone accessories are likely to see the most movement in the next few months, in addition to iPhones. These devices are largely associated with the iPhone, and therefore Apple is likely to heavily promote the wearable and audio ecosystem in India through the stores.

It was in 2017 that Apple began manufacturing iPhones in India, and since then, the company has worked with suppliers to assemble iPhone models and produce a growing number of components. Now, the company is looking to expand its manufacturing capabilities in the country.

India has become a huge focus for Tim Cook and Apple, and the store opening is a critical piece of the puzzle. The market share for Apple in the smartphone market has boomed since 2020 when the pandemic resulted in a surge in device purchases.

From around 2% before 2020, the market share is expected to grow to 6% by the end of 2023. This means a lot more visibility for Apple in public and that the company is on the cusp of becoming a major player in terms of market share as well as ancillary revenue from Indian customers.

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Apple opens first official store in India, signals first-tier market status

Apple fans and technology enthusiasts in India have been eagerly awaiting the opening of the country’s first official Apple Store, which finally opened its doors in Mumbai last week. Despite being almost two years late, the store attracted long queues, with fans camping out in front of cameras and bringing their most prized possessions to the opening.

The Apple Store is a sign that India is finally a first-tier market for the company, which had previously relied on resellers and e-commerce marketplaces to sell its products. With the launch of its native e-commerce operations in September 2020, Apple went direct to consumers, and the store opening marks its second major step in establishing its native sales stack in India.

Apple CEO Tim Cook visited India to inaugurate both the Mumbai and Delhi stores and meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss Apple’s plans and pain points in India. Cook has said that the company is looking to take a page out of its China growth story for the Indian market.

In China, the company has nearly 25% market share. Besides understanding how Apple is likely to expand its manufacturing capabilities in India, the meeting with Modi is expected to touch on topics such as employment created by Apple in India.

Analysts believe that the first few Apple Stores in India will be more about marketing than sales. There are a lot of consumers who may not be aware of the extensive Apple ecosystem from the accessories to services. The Apple Store is a major step because of just how grand the experience is.

At one point in time, the online contribution to Apple’s India sales was as high as 60%, and all of this has come on the back of e-commerce sales. A key part of Apple’s strategy in India has been to increase hardware penetration while more or less keeping services as a secondary revenue pipeline.

Devices such as Apple Watch, AirPods and smartphone accessories are likely to see the most movement in the next few months, in addition to iPhones. These devices are largely associated with the iPhone, and therefore Apple is likely to heavily promote the wearable and audio ecosystem in India through the stores.

It was in 2017 that Apple began manufacturing iPhones in India, and since then, the company has worked with suppliers to assemble iPhone models and produce a growing number of components. Now, the company is looking to expand its manufacturing capabilities in the country.

India has become a huge focus for Tim Cook and Apple, and the store opening is a critical piece of the puzzle. The market share for Apple in the smartphone market has boomed since 2020 when the pandemic resulted in a surge in device purchases.

From around 2% before 2020, the market share is expected to grow to 6% by the end of 2023. This means a lot more visibility for Apple in public and that the company is on the cusp of becoming a major player in terms of market share as well as ancillary revenue from Indian customers.

Disclaimer

We strive to uphold the highest ethical standards in all of our reporting and coverage. We StartupNews.fyi want to be transparent with our readers about any potential conflicts of interest that may arise in our work. It’s possible that some of the investors we feature may have connections to other businesses, including competitors or companies we write about. However, we want to assure our readers that this will not have any impact on the integrity or impartiality of our reporting. We are committed to delivering accurate, unbiased news and information to our audience, and we will continue to uphold our ethics and principles in all of our work. Thank you for your trust and support.

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