Indian Government Approves Single-Branded Apple Retail Stores

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The Indian government is set to approve Apple's request to open its own retail stores in the country and exempt the company from its domestic sourcing policy for foreign businesses.

Apple currently has no wholly-owned stores in India and sells its products through a number of distributors. Back in January, the company sent an application to the country's Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) for approval of several planned Apple retail outlets.

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According to The Times of India, a committee led by DIPP secretary Ramesh Abhishek will this week recommend exempting Apple from a state ruling that requires single-brand foreign stores to source at least 30 percent of their goods from domestic suppliers.

"The committee has found that the company's products are cutting edge technology and state-of-the-art," said sources familiar with the matter. "It has recommended to exempt them from the local sourcing norms."

The source's wording is significant, since under the rule, restrictions may be waived for retailers selling "state-of-the-art" and "cutting-edge technology" if local suppliers are unavailable. Since Apple manufactures most of its products in China, the precondition had thus far been an issue for the company as it tries to make headway into the Indian retail market.

Last summer, Apple announced its Authorized Mobility Resellers program in India, which focused on opening 500 retail store locations across 12 cities in the country. Apple CEO Tim Cook has praised India's business environment and stated that the company is putting more energy into the country, which has the third largest smartphone market in the world with over 200 million users, despite only one third of the population being smartphone owners.

Tag: India

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56 months ago

I'm sure that's cost apple something in bribes... everything's for sale if you know the right people.
The products are too expensive for the majority of the population, i cant see it being anything transformative.

Isn't that what people said about China? Like China, India's demographics are changing rapidly, and I'd personally bet on this working out very well for Apple in the next few years…
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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56 months ago

The products are too expensive for the majority of the population, i cant see it being anything transformative.

Given the size of the population they don't need a majority or even close to make a lot of money. Also to will create a bigger supply of used iPhones in the country getting people used to them so as their incomes increase they start buying new ones.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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56 months ago
All in a very good move. Look at this way, more jobs in India (Apple blue shirts), better service (no longer experience third party vendor incompetence), hopefully more choice (bring in the latest Apple tech quicker), and if sales in China are any indication, more sales tax for the government/country.
Maybe one day India will have ApplePay.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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56 months ago
This is really great news for them, as Tim said in the conference call the other day that India was only about 8 years behind China. I've worked with some incredibly brilliant and hard-working Indian people in the startup and app dev scene and the incredible progress they talk about in their homeland is inspiring—and many of them care deeply about giving back and helping their local communities back home. Their economy is going to be a massive force on the global stage as they fully modernize and provide a counter to China's dominance. Given NSA surveillance and proposed U.S. laws limiting encryption, I wouldn't at all be surprised if somewhere like India ends up becoming the new "silicon valley" of the world.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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56 months ago

That sounds about a great news, and maybe they'll finally start their own online sales website.

As I personally got almost ripped off with a "Hong Kong" Apple Watch, which if am right was probably smuggled and had me worried if something does happen and it breaks down, Apple services could be refused.
Bittersweet experience overall, thankfully at least the device is working for now.

Oh and being able to customise a range of MacBooks instead of picking from a preset condition.

Yeah that was one sore spot....I terribly missed customisations when I purchased MacBooks.

I missed on a matte screen when I got the MacBook Pro in 2012....and now on 1.3 ghz version when I got the 12" MacBook.

Hopefully now Apple will offer online store and customisations.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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56 months ago
Curious about pricing since all Apple products in India were raised by 10%? If parts are to be localized, what could some examples be?

And will they honor Apple's international warranty [know for a fact that India has horrible sales service]?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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