India on Wednesday eased previous rules that forced foreign companies to source 30 percent of production locally, which has long blocked Apple from opening stores and selling devices directly to consumers in India. Instead, Apple has had to rely on third-party retailers to sell its devices.
Apple is now planning to begin iPhone, iPad, and Mac sales online "in the coming months," though no specific target launch date for sales was specified by Bloomberg.
Now that the rules have changed, Apple is also set to begin opening up retail stores in India in the future and already has retail locations in the works. A new store in Mumbai is in development and is likely set to open next year.
Even prior to the rule change, Apple was working with the Indian government to get permission to open up stores in India. Over the course of the last few years, Apple started manufacturing some lower-cost iPhone models in India to meet local investment requirements.
India is an important market for Apple, as it is a country where Apple devices have low penetration due to high costs from import tariffs. The changes will make Apple devices more affordable to Indian consumers and could grow Apple's footprint in the country.