Apple to sell iPhones directly online in India

Indian Apple users are in for a treat. A fresh report revealed that the Cupertino-based company’s much-awaited online store in India is expected to go live on Apple India site later this year.

According to a new report from TechCrunch, Apple is set to launch online hardware stores around the third quarter of 2020. Last year, in August, the government eased foreign direct investment (FDI) regulations, including easing rules for overseas single-brand stores and permitting FDI through the automatic route in contract manufacturing and all areas of coal mining.

Consequently, according to a Bloomberg report published last year, the Cupertino-based company is poised to start online sales of its devices in the country within months after India eased rules that forced companies such as Apple to source 30% of their production locally to include exports as part of the requirement. However, Techcrunch, citing sources, says that the Apple online store for India “was still working on the logistics of setting up the store and that the quarter between July and September was the new tentative deadline.”

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Moreover, the report added that Apple CEO Tim Cook is expected to take a trip to India in mid-2020, when Apple is ready to begin online sales.

The report also revealed that the company’s first official brick-and-mortar Apple store in India, which will be inaugurated in Mumbai, will take an additional few months of time for setting up and might not be ready by this year.

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Currently, Apple sells its products in India through partnered third-party offline retailers and e-commerce platforms such as Amazon India, Flipkart and Paytm Mall.

According to the Counterpoint Technology Market Research, Apple’s iPhone shipments in India grew 6% in 2019 compared with a 43% decline in the previous year, stabilizing its position in a rare market that still exhibits growth in smartphone demand.

Apple on Tuesday reported $91.8 billion in revenue for the fiscal first quarter, up 9% from a year earlier due to high iPhone 11 sales, Tim Cook announced.

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“We grew double digits in emerging markets led by strong performances in Brazil, mainland China, India, Thailand, and Turkey,” Cook told analysts after declaring all-time high revenue for Apple’s fiscal 2020 first quarter that ended on December 28.