Still unable to bring Apple Stores to India, Apple is planning flagship outlets instead

Still unable to bring Apple Stores to India, Apple is planning flagship outlets instead

  • Apple is setting up ‘Flagship Apple Premium Reseller’ retail outlets in Tier-I cities across India.
  • These outlets will be a toned down version of the iconic Apple Stores set up around the world.
  • The company plans on setting up the stores in ‘key locations’ to re-establish its ‘premium’ brand tag.
In an effort to break the single digit cycle, Apple’s newest efforts in India involve launching flagship outlets in ‘key locations’. These ‘Flagship Apple Premium Reseller’ outlets will side-step the Indian laws that the company has been struggling with for years, unable to set up its iconic Apple Stores in the country.

In comparison to the ‘Ápple Premium Reseller’ stores that are already in the country and measure around 1,000 square feet, these 5-6 stores might go up to 5,000 square feet. Targeting Tier-I cities, these flagship stores are set to come up in metropolitan cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai to start off with. These four cities have the largest demand for Apple’s products in India.

Perfectly well aware that the brand caters to premium segment in the country, the company has planned for these stores to be set up in extremely prominent locations like high-street shopping areas.

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The stores are also a way for the company to reinforce the ‘exclusive’ tag that comes with owning an iPhone after a phase of excessive online as well as offline discounting.

Apple-India conundrum

The primary reason that Apple Stores haven’t popped up in the country is because the Indian law mandates that 30% of the raw materials should be locally sourced, and sadly that isn’t the case with Apple.

While other brands that came into the country jumped on the ‘Make in India’ bandwagon, Apple was counting on the Indian government to offer concessions on manufacturing. Which is why Apple had to stick to selling its devices through resellers, who in turn, have had to discount the premium phones in order to make sales.

Despite the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, reiterating how India is a ’key market’ for the American smartphone manufacturer, very little has been done in terms of localising the brand for the market. This is in stark comparison to what Google has been able to accomplish in the country.

At the end of the day, the Indian market is very different from the American terrain where phones are tied in with telecom operators and joint contracts and the phone can be bought for as little ₹15,000 as the down payment.