Apple is working to bring its online and brick-and-mortar retail experience to India, but creating a plan that lives up to Apple’s standards for location and design is an intensive process that can’t happen overnight. In a statement released Thursday, Apple said that plans for India’s first official Apple Store “will take us some time.”
In a report on August 28, Bloomberg noted that Apple was preparing to begin online sales of iPhones in India within months, thanks to the easing of a rule that previously required companies to source 30% of production locally. The report also suggested that Apple was exploring options throughout Mumbai for its first brick-and-mortar store, with a plan to open in 2020.
Apple issued a statement confirming its plan to bring the Apple retail experience to India, saying it will have more to announce in the future:
We love our customers in India and we’re eager to serve them online and in-store with the same experience and care that Apple customers around the world enjoy. We appreciate the support and hard work by Prime Minister Modi and his team to make this possible, and we look forward to one day welcoming customers to India’s first Apple retail store. It will take us some time to get our plans under way, and we’ll have more to announce at a future date.
India’s sourcing requirements have plagued Apple for years as iPhone sales fell in the country, and Apple Stores continued to rise in other new markets. The ability to sell online without a physical retail presence in India is a significant first step in the right direction, but an official brick-and-mortar store will help solidify the Apple brand in the hearts and minds of customers.
Modern Apple Stores, especially flagship locations, have grown far beyond simple product showrooms. From planning and construction through grand opening, recent projects often taken multiple years to complete. Apple’s statement today is unsurprising, but clarifies that the urgency to expand in India won’t compromise location choice and design.
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