Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook plans to launch the company retail stores in India. Apple created a record with its earnings in the first-half. “Our objective over time is to go in there [India] with all of our different initiatives from retail and everything else,” said Tim Cook at an earnings call.
Earlier this year, the Union Cabinet approved 100 percent foreign direct investment for single-brand retail through automatic route. Initially, 49 percent was permitted and beyond that limit, government approval would be required.
This makes Apple’s entry easier, though there is still the hurdle of carrying out at least 30 percent local sourcing. But the government’s decision to make it possible within five years of opening the first store would ease Apple’s situation.
Apple announced its revenue grew by 16 percent to USD 61 billion in the second quarter of FY 2017-18. International sales made up for 65 percent of the revenue.
"India is the third largest smartphone market in the world. There’s obviously huge opportunities there for us, and we have an extremely low share in that market overall. And so we’re putting a lot of energy there and working with the carriers in that market, and they’re investing enormously on the LTE networks. And the infrastructure has come quite a ways since we began to put a lot of energy in there because of their leadership and so forth,” Cook said.
This isn't Apple's first stint in making plans for the Indian market. The Cupertino-based giant announced to open a manufacturing unit in Bangalore with its Taiwanese partner Wistron. The plant to be opened in Peenya would help assemble and make iPhones in the country. This along with the opening of retail stores in India would lower the price of its commodities. India already has one of the highest prices of Apple devices due to high import duties.
Apple has already partnered with Airtel and Reliance Jio for 4G services into its new iPhone models, but extended it recently to bring Apple Watch Series 3 an embedded SIM devices in India.
Apple needs to build strategies to increase sales in the Indian market as the world's third-largest smartphone market is already dominated by Chinese smartphone makers already occupying 57 percent of the market share.