Apple Inc is all set to launch it online store in India ahead of the Holiday season, the company said on Friday. The decision to open the store coincides with the country’s holiday season that witnesses some of the biggest sales for retailers every year. So far the iPhone manufacturer has been selling its products in India through e-commerce operators and third-party vendors like Walmart Inc-owned Flipkart and Amazon.com Inc’s Indian unit. iPhone is one of the most desired products of the California-based tech giant. Millions of Indians want to purchase the product but the high price keeps them beyond the reach of many.
India is the world’s second biggest market for smartphones and it is dominated by the Chinese companies with Xiaomi dominating it. At the same time, the shipment of Apple accounts for just 1 per cent. With the launch of its first online retail platform, the tech giant is planning to offer assistance to customers in English as well as Hindi. The online store will provide a full range of products of Apple with direct support to customers. This will also provide users the facility of personalizing some devices with engravings. The online platform will allow Mac users to configure their devices according to their requirements.
The store will also give customers access to financing options along with the trade-in program of the company. However, the online store of Apple will be present some challenges for bricks and mortar retailers who are already suffering because of the coronavirus pandemic. They have been facing some losses due to discounts being offered by e-tailers. A chain operator reportedly said that some of the loyal customers of Apple will definitely shift to purchasing from company’s online store. Some of China’s biggest smartphone manufacturers have been selling products from their website besides Flipkart and Amazon. Apple failed to establish a retail presence because of the rule that mandates foreign companies to manufactures at least 30 per cent of its products locally. It had started building iPhones in Karnataka back in 2017. Apple started working on online sales after India eased its rules on location production.