Apple India To develop Retail Footprints In Smaller Cities

Apple will be strengthening its presence in India by setting up 500 stores in the country and focusing on smaller towns and cities.

Even though Apple iPhones are selling well in the Indian market, the apple Storecompany does not make it to the top five smartphone vendors in the country, but has a significant presence in the high-end smartphones. Despite being in India since 2011, it has not created a huge dent in the Indian markets unlike its Korean rival Samsung.

A senior official of the company told TOI, “The company is finalizing plans to become a serious player in India, which is being seen as a strategic and one of the most promising markets globally.”

Experts believe the major problem with Apple is its high price, which is out of reach for average users, especially in emerging markets. The Cupertino-based company did not take India seriously for a very long time. It had re-launched the earlier launched iPhone 4 earlier this year at a mid-range price, while newer phones such as the iPhone 5, 5s and the latest iPhone 6 models arrived considerably late. Similarly, many of the features in Apple devices are yet to come to India.

Tim Cook had earlier said that its India business is growing, but also added that the multi-layered distribution in the country added to the cost of getting products to market.

The TOI report states that it plans to open 500 iOS stores all across India including in smaller towns and cities, such as Amritsar, Pathankot, Moga, Coimbatore, Trichy, Nagpur and Nasik. Although the expansion plan has been tentatively approved, the stores which are going to be launched in smaller towns and cities would be smaller in size i.e 300 to 600 sq.ft, unlike the exclusive apple stores which are thrice their size.

The new stores will not be directly under Apple’s sole ownership as Indian laws prevent foreign direct investment in single-brand retail. Apple also plans to increase its expenditure on direct advertising in India. Experts believe, Apple’s push for a greater reach in India will help it tap the burgeoning demand for premium smartphones.

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