Apple is reportedly within weeks of finalizing the retail location for its first iconic store in India. The company has shortlisted a few prime locations in Mumbai where it intends to open its first store in the region.
Apple will be making a final decision in the next few weeks. The shortlisted spots are compared to Apple’s iconic store locations on Fifth Avenue in New York and Regent Street in London.
Apple currently has no direct retail presence in India. It sells its products in the country via distributors and service providers who have opened retail chains based on the same minimalistic design as followed by Apple-owned retail stores across the world.
While Apple has been looking to open its retail stores in India for a few years now, it could not fulfill the government regulation of sourcing at least 30 percent components locally for manufacturing purposes. Due to this, the company could never get around to making a direct retail presence in India.
Apple is now looking to locally manufacture newer iPhones in India. Its manufacturing partner Foxconn is running trial production of iPhone XR in India and mass production is scheduled to begin at a factory in the suburbs of Chennai in a few hours. The move will help Apple meet the Indian government regulations and make a direct retail presence in India. The company will seek the necessary permissions from the Indian government in May or early June.
iPhone sales have been steadily declining in India over the last 1-1.5 years. Recently, in a bid to spur sales, Apple dramatically reduced the iPhone XR prices in the region and put it on par with U.S. pricing thereby absorbing the additional duties and taxes it has to pay for importing the phones.
By starting local manufacturing, Apple should be able to save around 20-30 percent in duties and tax thereby allowing it to sustain this reduced iPhone XR pricing.
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