While Apple’s offline presence is still distant to alter into reality in India, the company is reportedly planning to launch its online store in the country this year.
According to a report from Economic Times, the Cupertino giant-based company is planning to set up its own online store by this year taken on the fact that local manufacturers can have a direct online presence in the country. The report citing two senior industry officials said that Apple at the outset will start its online store by selling iPhone SE units which will be manufactured in India and the product portfolio will eventually be expanded as it grows the local production to other models.
“Apple will initially start its online store by selling iPhone SE which will be manufactured in India and will be in line with government policies. The company is hopeful to start the online store in India around Diwali,” said one of the senior industry official, according to ET.
The report states that around 50-55% of the iPhones sold in India is done through online sales as compared to the smartphone industry average of 30%. The report further cites that with the intent to differentiate its online store from other online e-commerce retailers in the country, the company plans to offer value-added services to its Indian consumers. The consumers might get certain customized products, an exclusive model, colour option or storage space and even a laser engraving to personalise the handset.
As brick-and-mortar stores require ‘huge space’ considering its architectural design, Apple’s offline stores in India will be limited in number and the company is looking at 4-5 such flagship outlets over the next 5-10 years, the report cited.
Notably, Apple will begin the local assembling process in India starting May 2017. The ET report claims that Apple’s local assembling will start with the iPhoneSE through Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron’s facility in Bengaluru.