Apple wants to build its first retail stores in India

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Tim Cook Apple Store

Getty Images/Justin Sullivan

Apple CEO Tim Cook exits an Apple Store.

Apple is looking to build its own retail stores in India, according to a report from The Economic Times.

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The company currently has a range of retail distributors in India, but wants to build and operate US-style retail stores.

Apple has filed an application to open a series of stores, according to the report. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DPP), which handles building application requests in India, said it had received Apple's application and was reviewing it.

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The exact details of the application - such as how much Apple will invest to build stores - is unclear. Apple has also applied to sell its products online.

India has become an increasingly important market for Apple and other big technology companies. Amazon has recently started investing heavily in building out its Indian operations with one executive describing it as a "trillion-dollar market."

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Apple's previous model in India was to license other stores to sell its products. The company also started advertising the iPhone and iPad in the country. Sales, according to Apple's regulatory filings, hit $1 billion (£650 million) there in 2015.