Apple Retail Stores Coming to India?

indian flagIndian business newspaper Mint reports (via iPhone Hacks) that Apple may be preparing to open retail stores in India, dramatically increasing the company's presence in the country.

Apple Inc. may open its own shops following the Indian government allowing full ownership of single-brand retail stores by foreign companies, according to a senior official of the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP).

The maker of the iPad and iPhone has been in discussion with the department for some time and is keen to re-enter Indian market after an earlier bid to do so in 2006, said the official on condition of anonymity.

According to the report, Apple's interest comes as Indian regulators have eliminated ownership requirements that had previously required single-brand retail outlets such as Apple Stores to have at least 49% domestic investment.

One potential hurdle does remain, as ventures with high levels of foreign investment such as what Apple would offer will be required to source 30% of their product value from small businesses in India. But regulators appear willing to address that requirement as well depending on Apple's official analysis of the viability of a retail effort in India.

When asked whether the 30% local sourcing clause will be a hindrance, the DIPP official said, “Let Apple finalize its business plan and the investment it wants to make. If they tell us that the 30% sourcing is a problem, at that stage we will look into it,” he said.

The report notes that Apple attempted to create an Indian presence back in 2006 with a tech support center, but the company quickly abandoned those plans.

Top Rated Comments

reevans Avatar
121 months ago
Prohibitive costs due to corruption and red tape

Anyone who has tried to start a foreign owned business in India knows how many barriers there are to set up and operate. Indian officials are many and have their hands out for bribes and payoffs.

Corruption has nothing to do with poverty but is based solely on a moral choice. These choices that are commonly made in India are to the detriment of the entire country and keep them in poverty in my opinion. I have seen it first hand and am anxiously waiting for India to grow up and leave bribery as a way of life behind her.

Apple can expect that half of the money needed to open a store in India will end up being paid in bribes. I can't see Apple doing that.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
guzhogi Avatar
121 months ago
An iPhone will be around 1,000,000,000 rupees or something. something 90% of india can't afford.

So? India has over 1.2 BILLION people. Even if only 10% of the population can afford it, that's still 120 million people.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TWSS37 Avatar
121 months ago
Rupees in hand!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macnerd93 Avatar
121 months ago
a friend of mine just came back from India last summer, he said some locals in this small town were shocked that he had a Nikon D90 and iPhone 4, and the old skool 2006 MacBook I guess, they really don't spend the money on gadgets there.

From what I've seen of India your either super rich or super poor, there doesn't seem to be an in-between
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
caligomez Avatar
121 months ago

An iPhone will be around 1,000,000,000 rupees or something. something 90% of india can't afford.

Yes, and the remaining 10% is around 100,000,000 people..
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alex00100 Avatar
121 months ago
when we build our first cities on moon, will we be waiting for apple stores so long too?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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