April 13, 2023: Apple sets to open its first physical stores in India in the coming week, highlighting the importance to the U.S. tech firm’s future in iPhone sales and manufacturing.
The Cupertino company will open a store in Mumbai on April 18 and the Indian capital Delhi on April 20.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is travelling to India to open the stores, Bloomberg reported, which cites people familiar with the matter. The move underscores his bullishness towards the fifth-largest economy in the world.
Cook’s visit, almost seven years since his inaugural trip to India, comes as Apple looks to expand its products’ retail sales and manufacturing activity locally.
Apple has been bolstering its inroads into the Indian market, dominated by low-to-mid-cost mobiles from the firms like Samsung and Xiaomi. IPhone shipments increased 16% year-on-year in 2022, and Apple was the number one player in the premium segment of the market, with phones above $365, the Counterpoint Research. While it is only now looking to open its initial physical retail location in India, the firm has had an online store there since 2020.
“I’m very bullish on India,” Cook stated during a February revenue call covering Apple’s results for the December quarter. The tech giant observed record iPhone earnings in India while several regional iPhone users surged to “double-digit.”
Cook stressed that Apple is “putting a significant amount of energy” into India.
Retail is one step. Manufacturing, Apple started assembling its flagship iPhone 14 in India; the industry said that Apple aims to make 25% of every one of its iPhones in India.
The creating push in India arrives as Apple wants to decrease its reliance on China, which currently makes the bulk of its iPhones. Fragilities in China were exposed the previous year following production was disrupted by a COVID-19 outbreak and employee protests at the world’s significant iPhone factory in Zhengzhou, China, run by Taiwanese firm Foxconn.