America's leading multinational Apple Inc. has planned to set up two-three offline stores in India to strengthen its position in one of the world's largest smartphone markets. Apart from ramping up its position in the offline market, the Cupertino headquartered company will also open an online store for its Indian customers, news agency PTI reported.
As per the people privy to the development, Apple has informed the government about its plan to open online as well as offline stores that would be built to offer 'global experience' to its customers in India.
Interestingly, the decision by Apple to increase its presence in India has been taken amid global smartphone manufacturers reiterating their commitment to the Indian market. Moreover, major mobile manufacturing companies have also promised to increase their manufacturing capabilities in India. Apple manufactures iPhone 6S and 7 with its Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron in India. One of the sources confirmed that Apple is also planning to assemble more models in India.
Last week, Prime Minister Modi-led government relaxed FDI norms to push investments in single-brand retail offering breathing space to foreign manufactures on local sourcing norms. The government also removed a provision that mandated foreign companies to set up a brick-and-mortar store before entering online retail trading.
While the company is yet to announce the city where it would be opening its inaugural retail store, as per some reports Mumbai could be the first city.
In order to position itself as a global hub, India is planning to stimulate smartphone manufacturing and offering attractive deals for international brands. Notably, the trade war between the world's two largest economies, the United States and China, has given an opportunity to India to attract companies to give a stable business ecosystem.
The government is engaging with key stakeholders in the business to understand their concerns and requirement. The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) in its recently published report highlighted that India lacks scale and depth despite its ambition to become a global production hub. The report further added that India must scale up its manufacturing, produce high-end phones and provide incentives to encourage exports.