Apple will debut its online stores in India before it opens any physical stores. The Apple online stores will first start with selling iPhone SE only, before incorporating other Apple products in the catalogue.
As reported by ET —
“Apple will initially start its online store by selling iPhone SE which will be manufactured in India and the product portfolio will be expanded as it grows the local production to other models.”
The reason that Apple online stores will start with only iPhone SE is a policy matter. In India, as per the FDI laws, single brand overseas producers can only sell those products online which were manufactured here. Therefore, Apple will only be able to sell the iPhone SE as that’s the only product it’s going to be manufacturing here in India.
“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,” a government spokesperson was quoted as saying.
It’s also possible that Apple will be able to sell some accessories in India on the Apple online stores. Apple was in the works to also include the manufacturing some of the major accessories (such as chargers and earphones) at Bengaluru alongside iPhones. So we might get to see them in the online stores as well.
The power of online stores
More than 50% of all Apple sales in India happen through online portals. Amazon and Flipkart are the two greatest generators of this traffic. Apple certainly wants to capture that segment of the market, and that’s why the haste to open Apple online stores before physical stores.
Of course, the policy helps too. Becuase in India, opening an online store is much easier than opening a brick-and-mortar store. Especially for a foreign producer.
A growing platform
As Apple’s capacity of production grows in India, the range of products on offer in the Apple online stores will also grow. And that’s a good thing for customers because it cuts down the middleman from the equation. We will also see a possible decline in costs and rise in offer/special deals.
So good news all around!