Apple applies for retail stores in India
Wed 20 Jan 2016
A recent application request has been confirmed for Apple to begin building its own retail stores in India.
Apple is looking to build and run its own stores in India in the style of the ones it operates in the USA. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, which deals with building application requests in India, said that it had received Apple’s application and will be reviewing it.
Apple’s previous model in India was to licence other stores to sell its goods. Although precise details of the application have not been released (for example, how much Apple will be investing in the potential project or how many stores it wishes to build), it’s clear that India holds considerable promise. It’s an important market for Apple – for instance, following advertising of its iPhone and iPad, sales reached $1 billion (the equivalent of £650 million) in India in 2015.
The interest in expanding into India is also taking place at a time when concerns have been raised about slowing smartphone growth in the USA and China, which are key locations for these products.
One reason given for this slowed growth is that the Chinese smartphone market is maturing. A report from IDC found that 2015 shipments of smartphones were forecasted to grow year over year by just 1.2%, a drop down from the figure of 19.7% in 2014. IDC’s programme director Ryan Reith said that India had captured a lot of the attention that China had previously received and it is “now the market with the most potential upside”.
The Apple application also comes in the wake of the government’s decision to relax direct investment policy for single brand retailing. It has also been reported by The Indian Express that the government may additionally relax sourcing norms for entities undertaking single brand retailing of products that have technology that is ‘state of the art’ and ‘cutting edge’ and where local sourcing is not possible.