Tim Cook IndiaIn an ongoing effort to boost sales in India, Apple is reportedly planning to upgrade its authorized reseller locations in five to six
"extremely prominent locations" in India's metropolitan cities. The stores are being referred to as "Flagship Apple Premium Reseller" outlets.

While not official Apple stores, the locations will each be "at least three times larger" than the current reseller stores, which average about 1,000-1,500 square feet (via The Economic Times).

According to three senior industry executives, Apple may go up to as much as 5,000 square feet for the improved reseller locations in an effort to build them as "anchor shops" in malls and high-traffic outdoor shopping areas.

Apple will reportedly start construction on the flagship outlets first in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chennai. Sometime after those locations, the company will then open outlets in Hyderabad and Pune. A specific grand opening window for these outlets was not given.

“With company-owned Apple Stores yet to take shape in the country, Apple wants some of the franchisee run outlets to up the experience game through this new format. This is part of Apple’s new India strategy to focus on selling on experience rather than discount,” he said.

Apple is even open to the idea of a couple of these flagship stores being as large as 5,000 square feet if a suitable location is available. “The key is getting the right location, which is not easy. A team from the company is identifying locations,” an executive said.

The outlets are part of Apple's revamped India strategy, which includes overhauling its relationship with independent retailers, long-lasting retail deals, and opening official Apple retail stores in the country. These official stores are said to open beginning in 2019 and eventually include locations in New Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai.

Apple's new strategy began when Michel Coulomb was hired to oversee the company's India growth at the end of 2017. Apple routinely struggles in the Indian market due to the higher prices of its smartphones in comparison to other manufacturers like Xiaomi, and other factors.

The other major aspect of the revamped strategy is Apple's services, which will be "aimed more closely at Indians" thanks to certain apps that will get major updates in the country, like a new Apple Maps coming by 2020. Earlier this year, Indian iPhone users discussed Apple's poor performance in this area and one user specifically called Apple Maps "a joke" in India.

While some services like Apple Music were favorably received, others like Siri were identified as low points for Indian customers, as the assistant "often struggles" with local accents and does not understand "many words of Indian origination" -- all pain points that Apple is hoping to address.

Tag: India

Top Rated Comments

delhifox Avatar
39 months ago
Whats new in this? Apple already has this kind of setup in India for sometime now..increasing square feet of retail doesn't help..

1/ Better service ? No
2/ Apple Pay ? No
3/ Reduces supply chain issues ? No
4/ Does it really help in reducing the cost of apple products ? NO!
5/ Improvement in maps? hell no!
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pika2000 Avatar
38 months ago
iPhones are just too expensive for those living in India. I don’t see them selling much of their products there for a while.
Louis Vuitton sells handbags more expensive than cars, and they have stores in India as well.
[doublepost=1534864920][/doublepost]
When it comes to India, I think you Tim have 2 options.
1- Sell "$10 iPhones" (and allow spyware apps to be installed as requested)
2- Quit the market
Samsung just did pre-orders for the Galaxy Note 9 in India.
India is a huge (and growing) market. Only fools would skip the second most populous country in the world.
[doublepost=1534865059][/doublepost]
India just isn't ready for the brand of company that Apple is. Apple isn't going to offer special Indian versions of their products that sell at a cheaper price. Until the standard of living improves drastically for those billion people, Apple products are simply aspirational.

And the privacy/security issues with the government will make it a worse market than China to operate in. Apple at least makes money in China to justify the government issues.
The only disadvantage Apple has in India is local manufacturing (which they started working on recently) and the lack of features like dual-SIM. The likes of Samsung has established their factories in India long time ago, and thus have advantages in taxes and cost. Apple is quite late in Asian market outside China due to their focus on China.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Abbi Avatar
38 months ago
Yes most of India is poor, but it has a large middle class, larger than all of Western Europe. However, everything that is great about Apple products is not valued as much by this large middle class, where value for money is the #1 metric.

So when you have a phone that does everything that an iPhone does, maybe 80% as good, but is half the price, the Indian consumer thinks he has received the better end of the bargain when he/ she buys a Xiaomi phone because here you have a device that looks like an iPhone and does all the things an iPhone does, but it didn't cost as much as an iPhone. iPhone has a fingerprint sensor that is lightning quick and more accurate than the competition? So what, my phone has the same feature and it doesn't matter that it doesn't work 100% of the time or is slower than your iPhone. Better camera? Big deal: I have more pixels and the pictures are good enough. Inconsistent interface? Not so smooth scrolling? No rubber band effect? These are not important things to the middle class Indian. Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube: all those Apps look the same, even on inferior phones.

One of the nice things about buying an Apple product is the way it just seamlessly works with Apple services and other Apple products. For most of the middle class that Apple is trying to target, their smartphone will be their only computer. So all those iCloud syncing features and the "it just works" functionality is lost on them. Maps? People don't buy 1 brand or the other because of Map providers which can easily be changed. Voice control? That's too ahead of its time for the middle class of India. Apple Pay? India is barely graduating out of cash. Privacy? That's great, but no Indian would be willing to pay extra for it. An under appreciated aspect of Apple products is the value they hold even after many years of use. But it's well nigh impossible to sell a used iPhone in India because the very people who want Apple products are the type to not want to buy it used :-(

Many of Apple's advantages are therefore nullified in India. The rich of India, who appreciate and value what Apple and its services has to offer probably don't even buy their iPhones in India :-/ Or if they do, they get it right away through unofficial channels.

So what is the solution to ramp up sales in India? One idea would be to offer models exclusive to India. Maybe it would just be cosmetic at first. Yes, it's a small market, but Apple has to take the 100 year view. Think of growing sales by just 1M per year. The Indian FCC wants you to help it block spam calls? Instead of stalling, come out with an India specific OS that does just that- it can still be called IOS ;-). Maybe IOS could understand Hinglish which no other OS does? Imagine if IOS could translate local Indian languages? Or somehow work with the Aadhar system to act as an Identity Authenticator. These are just a few suggestions, people who live in India could probably find 100s of other annoyances that Apple could help solve, thereby making its products indispensable.

Apple has to think like a startup to succeed in India and it can't be done by sitting in an Ivory Circle in Cupertino. If/ when they solve this problem, it is going to make for 1 great case study @ Harvard and other management schools.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iSayuSay Avatar
38 months ago
I’ve been in a country where “Apple Premium Resellers” are sole distributor for Apple products.

Not.fun.at.all.. They’re third parties, and middleman too, and they will sell you apple products with high markups and low end services.

Any warranty claims must be authorized by regional Apple offices and it takes longer time than it should. I cant get my iPhone 7 battery replacement program with Apple Resellers. Too much bureaucracy.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
now i see it Avatar
38 months ago
Problem: iPhones are too expensive.
Solution: Build bigger stores.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
code-m Avatar
38 months ago
I don't think the real issue is been captured here. The issue is not the lack of bigger stores or not even the cost to some extend. There are more than enough indians who appreciate the apple ecosystem and want to use it. I have been on iphone's and macbooks since 2011. I recently made the switch to linux, and there were many reasons, and cost wasn't one of them. I am happy to pay the premium, if the product is worth the money and lasts, the problem I had was, I wanted a 13 inch macbook with 16gb ram, that apple doesn't sell in India ( the only way to get 16gb ram macbook in india is with 15 inch, and having used that in the past, I didn't wanted a bigger laptop) , then, apple doesn't even sell apple care + in india, and I happen to break my macbook by a drop, I get it, it was my mistake, I should have to pay for it, but when a company sells the same product here, at a ridiculous currency conversion, why not give us the same service that you give to the western world, why not have any APPLE service centers in India, not third party ? I am not saying, that other companies are better in India in this regard,but when you are paying through your nose, you expect similar type of service that is globally available. The reality is Indians want value for their money, even if it costs a little more, if I can be assured it will be properly supported with the same standards as the west, I would buy it. A company who has different standards for different parts of the globe, that's just racism to me.
Apple wants the presence and to reassure its stockholders that it is growing in a booming foreign market to instill confidence. In reality there really is no commitment in India let alone service and support.

People have debated on MR that India customers unlike Chinese customers have more money, their fail to mention that Apple has official Apple Stores in China and is planning on a rapid expansion effort. Want to take a guess how many official Apple Store are in India? Apple is paying lip service to its stock holders that it knows the Indian market, in reality their efforts thus far have not been fruitful.

Want to take a guess Apple’s presence in Africa, it is much much worse. Before someone informs me that Africans have no money, then their are living under a rock. Many nations have super rich, rich, upper middle, middle, lower middle, poor, etc financial classes of people. America, Europe, China, India, Africa, etc are no different. People here love living in their small bubble thinking that the interpretation of the world through the news is accurate. News flash poverty sells as it is a tear jerky, terrorism sells because it strikes fear and anger, so on and so forth. Your emotions are being manipulated by the media, because guess what that is what sells unlike Apple products in India. :eek::p:D ::drops mic and walks off the stage::
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 13 to Bring Over a Major Feature From the Apple Watch

Wednesday July 28, 2021 2:21 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will feature an always-on display akin to the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, according to recent reports. In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, said that the iPhone 13 may feature an Apple Watch-inspired always-on mode. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch...
REC ASA CODE2016 20160601 205816 2745

Elon Musk Reportedly Demanded to Become Apple CEO as Part of Potential Tesla Acquisition [Update: Musk Denies]

Friday July 30, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times. According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of ...
duracell battery bitter coating

Apple Says Don't Buy AirTag Replacement Batteries With Bitter Coating

Wednesday July 28, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Since AirTags were just released earlier this year and are expected to have a year-long battery life, it may be some time yet before AirTag users need a replacement battery, but when the time comes for a refresh, Apple is warning customers not to buy batteries with a bitter coating. AirTags use coin-shaped CR2032 batteries, which happen to be a size that's easy to swallow. Some battery...
nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
Apple Leak Feature

Apple Demands Leaker Reveals Sources Under Threat of Being Reported to Police

Wednesday July 28, 2021 6:53 am PDT by
Apple has sent a cease and desist letter to a leaker based in China as part of its continuing attempts to curtail leaks of unreleased products, according to Vice. A Chinese citizen who shared images of stolen Apple prototypes on social media was sent a warning letter from Fangda Partners, Apple's law firm in China, on June 18, 2021. An extract from the letter read:You have disclosed without ...
apple rtp land

Apple Preparing to Occupy 200,000 Square Feet of Temporary Space Ahead of New $1 Billion North Carolina Campus

Thursday July 29, 2021 9:14 am PDT by
Back in April, Apple announced a $430 billion investment over the next five years to create more than 20,000 new jobs as the company continues to expand. One significant piece of that plan is a new engineering and research center in North Carolina where Apple will be investing over $1 billion and hiring at least 3,000 employees. Assemblage of seven properties in Research Triangle Park owned by ...
iOS 15 General Feature Purple

Everything New in iOS 15 Beta 4: Safari Tweaks, MagSafe Battery Pack Support, Notification Updates and More

Tuesday July 27, 2021 11:47 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth betas of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, introducing additional refinements to the new features that are coming in the software updates. In these betas, Apple has introduced changes for Safari, Notifications, Focus mode, and more. Safari Updates Apple is continuing to refine the design of Safari on the iPhone, and in iOS 15, there are tweaks to improve usability. ...
new m1 chip

Tim Cook on Apple Deciding to Manufacture Components: 'We Ask Ourselves If We Can Do Something Better'

Tuesday July 27, 2021 3:04 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call for the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked how Apple decides what components to purchase and what components to develop, and Cook said that Apple asks if it can be done better. We ask ourselves if we can do something better. If we can deliver a better product. If we can buy something in the market and it's great...
a15 chip

iPhone 13 and Redesigned MacBook Pro Chip Production Hit With Gas Contamination

Friday July 30, 2021 5:44 am PDT by
The most important TSMC factory that manufactures Apple's chips destined for next-generation iPhone and Mac models has been hit by a gas contamination, according to Nikkei Asia. The factory, known as "Fab 18," is TSMC's most advanced chipmaking facility. TSMC is Apple's sole chip supplier, making all of the processors used in every Apple device with a custom silicon chip. Industry...