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Apple's Direct E-Commerce Store Could Launch In India As Soon As September

Apple Inc.

Benzinga · 08/25/2020 15:29

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) products will reportedly be made available to Indian customers through an online store for the first time ever in September.

What Happened: Apple is gearing up to launch an online store in India in September, just in time to capitalize on the buying frenzy associated with the upcoming Dussehra-Diwali shopping season, Bloomberg reported Tuesday, quoting an unnamed person with the knowledge of the matter.

Only last year, the Indian government relaxed regulations that prohibited foreign direct retailing. Apple did not immediately take the opportunity, as the coronavirus pandemic delayed its plans, Bloomberg said. 

Apple's first brick-and-mortar store in India is set to open in Mumbai in 2021, and the company is planning to open a second store in Bangalore, the report said.

The company now sells its products through franchised stores and e-commerce websites in the country of 1.3 billion people. 

Why It's Important: Selling directly to customers could give Apple more control over branding and increase customer loyalty, Bloomberg said.

India overtook the U.S. to become the second-largest smartphone market globally in 2019, according to Counterpoint Research.

More important is the fact that the market is underpenetrated, with 4G penetration at only 55% in India. 

Apple's renewed effort to reach Indian customers directly through physical and online stores could help capture a bigger chunk of a massive market.

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Photo courtesy of Apple.