Apple Inc. may launch its online store in India within months after the government eased local sourcing rule for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in single-brand retail. Apple’s online stores in India will put the American tech giant on a level playing field with its competitors like Samsung and OnePlus.
Apple currently sells its products in India through its franchise partners with physical stores or through e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart. The decision to open online stores in India will help the company take control of customers’ experience from the time they take a look at the products on the website till the time of unboxing.
The company has been relying on the delivery experience of franchise partners and e-commerce platforms which gives an added advantage to its market rivals. It could help the tech giant provide a better experience to the customers from the time of delivery to warranty and return of the product.
Reports suggest that Apple may rush to open online stores before the festive season of Dussehra and Diwali when the electronic sales are supposed to be at its best. While the online stores sell the products at a reduced price, they may offer a minor discount during the festive season, a similar strategy they apply in the United States and Britain.
Apple’s partner Foxconn, the world's biggest contract electronics maker, has currently two plants in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh where it assembles Apple and Xiaomi smartphones. The Taiwanese company started the assembly line for the iPhone XR in the country in late 2019 and in July this year, it started production of its flagship iPhone 11 at the Foxconn plant near Chennai.
The older version of the iPhone SE and some other models that have been discontinued by the company were also manufactured in Sriperumbur plant. The assembly of the iPhone 11 in India would help Apple avoid a 20 per cent tax that it pays for importing the handset from its global manufacturing facilities.