For a very long time Apple has been trying to open its official retail stores in India. The problem was whenever a foreign company opens up a shop in India it has to source 30% of its materials from India, some reports say, within the first year of setting up operations, which Apple cannot do. Recently the Indian Cabinet approved a three-year exemption from this 30% local sourcing conditionality for single-brand foreign retail companies. Companies like Apple may get an extension of up to 5 years before they need to source 30% of their material locally. This may surely enable Apple to open its official retail stores in India.
Apple has been trying to open its official retail stores in India for many years now.
Right now if you purchase an iPhone or an iPad you have to purchase it from an authorised reseller in India, rather than directly from an official Apple retail store. By having its own official retail store Apple will be able to cut out the middleman.
The Q3 2016 earnings in the US have been good for Apple especially after the launch of iPhone SE. For the first time in the past 10 quarters Apple seems to have made a progress within the US. It is even slightly selling iPads more.
But maintaining a foothold in different markets is always an ongoing challenge. Apple has seen its sales going down in China, for example because of the local competition. The same sort of competition also exists in India but having official retail stores will definitely give a boost. Despite the fact that iPhones are being sold through authorised resellers in India, the sales have been 51% up year-on-year.
The news about Apple opening official retail stores in India was declared by Apple CEO Tim Cook himself during an analyst conference after the third quarter result. He said, “We’re looking forward to opening retail stores in India down the road, and we see huge potential for the vibrant country.”
Even without official retail stores Apple has experienced double-digit growth in the country. Apple realises that India is one of its fastest-growing markets. A design and development center was recently launched in Bengaluru to support Indian app developers. A new facility was also set up in Hyderabad for its Apple Maps division.
What difference does it make to you as a customer if Apple opens up official retail stores in India?
As a layperson it wouldn’t matter much to you if Apple opens official retail stores in India, as long as you have no problem with your device. If you have a problem with your device then you’re basically on your own and you depend on the whims and fancies of the authorized resellers who are just resellers and not actual, Apple-products-trained professionals. Just as Apple is going through middlemen to give you its products, you need to depend on middlemen to get the problems sorted out. After sales service is really poor in the absence of the official retail stores.
Apple is known for its exceptional after sales service. Sometimes iPhones and iPads are straightway replaced without asking any question when there is a problem. Yes, it is an expensive device but once you have purchased it, you are well taken care of. This exceptional service is missing up till now due to the reasons mentioned above.
Once Apple opens up its official retail stores in India you will get the latest iPhones and iPads with greater speed but this is less important than the fact that the after sales service will exceptionally improve.