India is set to get its first Apple Inc retail store in Mumbai. The company has finalised a list of locations for its retail store. The iPhone-maker has reportedly zeroed in on several upscale sites in the economic hub of the country. The move comes as the tech giant is trying to establish a strong presence in the world's fastest-growing smartphone market.
The Cupertino-based company is planning to make its final decision in the next few weeks. As per a report in Bloomberg, the spots are comparable to the iconic Fifth Avenue location in New York, the Regent Street store in London and the Champs-Elysees in Paris. Apple has been prohibited from opening its own retail stores in the country because it does not meet local sourcing requirements. However, it is now shifting its manufacturing units to India and is in talks with the government regarding its retail expansion.
Apple, with its pricey products has struggled to establish itself in India, where customers are opting for cheaper Android based smartphones like Xiaomi and Vivo. Manufacturing in India will also help the company do away with 20 per cent tariffs on imported phones.
"India is a very important market in the long term. It's a challenging market in the short term, but we're learning a lot. We plan on going in there with sort of all of our might," said Tim Cook after the company's earnings report last week.
Separately, research firm Canalys estimated that Apple's shipments to India fell by more than 75 per cent in the first quarter of 2019. It now has only about 1 per cent of the country's smartphone market.
Apple announced sizeable discounts on its latest iPhone XR in the country. It offered a cut of Rs 17,000, bringing the price to Rs 59,000.