Apple India will open its online store in India on September 23, representing the tech giant’s first formal step into direct retailing in the world’s second most populous country.
In a statement, the US company said the online Apple Store would offer a full product range and ship nationwide along with finance and a level of customer support similar to that offered in physical Apple stores elsewhere in the world.
“We’re proud to be expanding in India and want to do all we can to support our customers and their communities,” said Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail + People. “We know our users are relying on technology to stay connected, engage in learning, and tap into their creativity, and by bringing the Apple Store online to India, we are offering our customers the very best of Apple at this important time.”
Besides selling products, the store will offer customers technical support and training in using and setting up Apple products, in either English or Hindi.
The company said all online orders will be shipped via a contactless delivery process to preserve the health of staff during the Covid-19 pandemic.
While Apple has been selling products through retail partners and distributors in India for more than 20 years, it has long wanted to launch a direct-to-consumer presence there. Until recently it was hamstrung by foreign investment laws in the state which require a minimum proportion of locally sourced components in products sold in overseas-owned retail networks. The company has steadily increased its manufacturing in India and now claims to support lamost 900,000 jobs nationwide.
The company continues to plan the opening of its first physical store in the country, most likely in Mumbai, with CEO Tim Cook promising in February it would open next year.
Apple has an App Design and Development Accelerator in Bengaluru which supports thousands of local developers.