With record sales in 2015, Apple looks to open its branded stores in India soon
Apple has applied for the Indian government's permission to launch its first branded retail stores in India soon. Amidst reports of China's slowing smartphone market, Apple will be hoping to increase its share in India, which has overtaken its Asian neighbour as the world's fastest-growing market for smartphones.
Currently, Apple India sells its products through local third-party sellers. Until now, its expansion plans in India were hindered by governmental restrictions on foreign direct investment.
The move comes a couple of months after the Indian government relaxed its rules on foreign direct investment on single-brand retail, such as mandatory 30% local procurement for foreign companies. The tech giant confirmed that it has filed an application with India's department of industrial policy and promotion, which is currently under consideration.
India could be the next big foreign market for Apple after China, where it currently has 31 stores. Until now, Apple just has a 2% share in India's price-conscious electronics market which is dominated by Samsung and Indian phone makers such as Micromax. The company's increasing interest in India is because of its record sales in the country last year. It shipped a record 800,000 devices to India between October and November 2015, its best figures for a quarter.
The high sales were the result of a series of promotions in the form of discounts, installment and buyback programmes, as well as a wider distributor network. For instance, the company reduced the prices of its best-selling iPhone 5S three times to increase the volume of sales in 2015.