Tim Cook inaugurates Apple’s first physical retail store in India

    Apple CEO Tim Cook has inaugurated the tech giant’s first physical retail stores in India, marking a significant milestone in the company’s growth strategy in the world’s second-largest smartphone market. The company opened its first outlet in Mumbai on Tuesday, with Cook personally welcoming customers as employees cheered and clapped. A second store opening is expected to take place in Delhi on Thursday.

    In a statement, Cook noted that India has a “beautiful culture and an incredible energy” and that the company is excited to build on its long-standing history in the country by supporting its customers, investing in local communities, and working together to build a better future. The Mumbai store, located at a property owned by Reliance Industries, is billed as one of Apple’s “most energy-efficient” in the world, with solar panels allowing it to run solely on renewable power.

    While Apple is the world’s second-biggest smartphone maker, its 6% share of the Indian market remains small. The company is dwarfed by the country’s top five vendors, led by Samsung and Chinese smartphone makers Xiaomi and Vivo.

    Many Indian consumers consider Apple products too expensive, with an iPhone 14 starting at 79,900 rupees and an iPhone SE, a lower-cost model, starting at 49,900 rupees. However, as Apple continues to build out its retail presence in India, its position is expected to grow, particularly as more customers turn to high-end smartphones.

    The new stores come at a time when Apple is trying to deepen its retail push in India, where the iPhone is still an aspirational product in the price-sensitive market. The stores are part of Apple’s branding strategy and may not have an immediate impact on sales. However, experts note that it’s a good time for Apple to invest in India’s growing “premium smartphone” market, which refers to mobiles that cost 40,000 rupees or more.

    India holds promise for businesses due to its vast population, rising middle class, and growth potential from consumers expected to switch from basic cell phones to smartphones. India also accounts for over 5 per cent of total iPhone production as Apple diversifies its supply chains away from China.

    Cook’s visit to India marks his first in seven years. During his visit, he is expected to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Deputy IT Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar, among other officials.


    author avatar
    Anubha Pandey




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