Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook has announced that the company will open its online store in India in 2020 supported by the first Apple-branded physical store by 2021. Cook was replying to a question by one of Apple’s shareholders about the company’s plans for India during the company’s annual shareholder meeting in California.
“We needed to get approval from the government to go in there ourselves” rather than with a domestic partner, Cook said. “I don’t want somebody else to run the brand for us, he further added.
Cook did not expose the exact timeline of the store launch through the gathering. But, the decision does confirm Apple moving its foot in India’s online market this year.The Cupertino-based tech giant has been in talks with the Indian administration for quite some period over support and easing of import duties before opening its stores in the nation.
Apple was earlier supposed to begin its first online store in India between January and March, i.e. Q1 2020. The decision was made after the Indian government eased Foreign Direct Investment regulations in August 2019. Apple is rumoured to have ideas to start its first physical Indian market in Mumbai. Some reports also indicated the launch of a similar store in New Delhi at a later stage.
In August last year, Apple showed its interest in retail operations in India. We acknowledge the support and hard work by Prime Minister Modi and his team to make this plausible and we look forward to one day welcoming clients to India’s first Apple retail emporium. It will take us some time to get our plans underway and we’ll have more to publish at a future date,” the company had stated in a press report at that time, without revealing any concrete timeline.