The Apple stores — famed for their and unparalleled customer experience — may soon come up in your city. Apple India has filed an application to open its own exclusive Apple stores in India with the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP), a person with direct knowledge of the matter said.
Confirming the development, DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant said, “We have just received Apple’s proposal. We are examining it.” The maker of iPhones and iPads has not specified how much investment it would make in its application, said the person quoted earlier, adding that it has also sought government approval to sell its products online. The US tech giant’s move stems from the government’s liberalisation of foreign direct investment rules on single-brand retail in November, which included relax…
Apple had sought relaxation of the sourcing norm to set up stores in the country. The earlier policy mandated that companies opting for more than 51% FDI in single brand must source 30% of their products within the country. Also, the earlier policy did not allow single-brand retailers with foreign investment to set up ecommerce portals. Apple currently sells its products through a network of franchisee-owned stores.
This doesn’t come as surprise as Apple is looking to expand markets in the bid to prove the most recent predictions wrong. Unlike others, Apple hasn’t tapped on the potential of emerging markets like India. Apple’s long profitable ride is expected to hit a speed breaker. Recently, Katy Huberty in a research note over at Morgan Stanley predicted a drop for the first time, as much as six percent.
This prediction isn’t surprising given that iPad sales saw a dip for the first time, lack of new innovation (read Apple Watch) and the fact that the company’s record-breaking cash registers are ticking owing to iPhones. Huberty believes that iPhones will see 218 million sales marks in 2016 which is a 5.7 percent decline.
Increasing Focus On Indian Market
The company has been increasing its focus on India in recent years and its sales in the country crossed the $1-billion mark for the first time in the year ended March 2015, according to results filed with the Registrar of Companies.
According to the filing, Apple posted 44% increase in sales at Rs 6,472.89 crores for 2014-15, up from Rs 4,500.35 crores a year earlier, and its net profit doubled to Rs 242.85 crores from Rs 119.48 crores. The company has aggressively widened its retail network in the country and stepped up marketing efforts, including buyback schemes, installment payment options and discounts on older products.
In 2012, Apple India changed its sales model by appointing retail distributors and began advertising campaigns. Since then its sales have been rising at double-digit pace and the top management of Apple has acknowledged the importance of Indian operations on analyst calls several times.
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