Times of India has put numbers on its earlier claim that Apple was planning to open a collection of iOS-centric stores in India. It now says that Apple plans to support 500 new resellers in the country as part of a major expansion program into smaller towns and cities, where Samsung currently dominates.

Apple reportedly sold a million iPhones in India in the 12 months to September 2014, helped in part by a cheaper 8GB version of the iPhone 5c, and is said to expect sales to treble in the following 12 months following the rollout of the iPhone 6 in October … 

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The source told ToI that while Apple has been pushing hard in China, its presence in India has so far been restricted to large cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai.

This is in contrast to its Korean rival Samsung that dominates the Indian phone market.

“All this will change now. 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,” said a top company source.

Most stores are expected to be very small, in the 300-600 square foot range, but would allow for proper product demonstrations.

Apple operates through a mix of Apple Premium Resellers and Apple Shop sections within other retailers. The piece speculates that the new stores may be created as franchises of one of Apple’s two Indian distribution partners, Redington. Neither Redington nor Apple have officially commented.

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