Tim Cook opens first Apple store in India

Cook is visiting India to open Apple's first physical stores in the country. This marks a milestone for the company in the world's second largest smartphone market.

Tim Cook opens first Apple store in India

Hong Kong CNN

Apple CEO Tim Cook will be in India to open the first Apple stores in India. This marks a major milestone for Apple in the second-largest smartphone market in the world.

Cook personally welcomed customers at the new outlet of the company in Mumbai that opened on Tuesday. Employees cheered and applauded. Cook is expected to attend the opening of a second store in Delhi, which will take place on Thursday.

The world's largest company is continuing to pivot towards India in order to tap into its potential both as a consumer and manufacturing market.

Cook said in a Monday statement that Apple has been expanding its presence in the country. He noted that its brick-and mortar launch coincided with Apple's 25th anniversary of operations there.

He said that India has a beautiful culture with an incredible amount of energy. We're excited about building on our long history, supporting our customers and investing in local communities.

Apple (AAPL), in a separate Monday statement, shared a sneak peek at its new Mumbai shop, which is located on a property owned and managed by Reliance Industries. This conglomerate belongs to Indian tycoon MukeshAmbani.

The store is billed as one of the'most energy efficient' in the entire world. It runs solely on solar power.

Apple has not responded to requests for more information or specifics about Cook's trip.

Retail Ambitions

Apple (SSNLF) is the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, but its share of Indian market is still small.

The top five smartphone vendors in the country are Samsung, Xiaomi and Vivo.

Apple's market share is expected to increase, but only as the company continues to expand its retail presence and as more customers switch to high-end smartphone models.

Hanish Bhatia, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research, says that India is a promising market for business because of its large population, growing middle class, and the growth potential consumers will experience as they switch from basic mobile phones to smartphones.

Apple has been selling their products online and through resellers.

The company and other foreign retailers were restricted from opening shops in India for years unless they obtained at least 30% raw materials locally. This forced them to rely upon local partners. In 2019, the Indian government relaxed restrictions.

Apple will launch an online store for India in 2020. Customers can buy Apple products and customize devices, a first.

Apple originally planned to open its physical store in the United States in 2021. However, the Covid-19 epidemic has halted that plan.

Sanyam Chaurasia is a Canalys Mobility analyst. She said that the stores will allow Apple to have all of its products "under one roof" and help guide consumers towards purchases.

He told CNN that the premium smartphone category, in which Apple is positioned, "is still driven" by brick-and mortar stores, where consumers are able to touch and feel the device.

Prachir Singh is a senior analyst at Counterpoint Research. He also stated that the location of the new Apple stores was crucial, as Delhi and Mumbai are the two largest Indian markets.

Singh stated that Mumbai typically accounts for 10% of the total iPhone sales in India.

Manufacturing powerhouse

Apple began manufacturing iPhones in India for the first time in 2017. Since then, it has steadily increased its production.

It has expanded its production in recent months after experiencing supply chain problems in mainland China. This is where the majority of the company's smartphone manufacturing takes place.

Apple's Indian exports increased significantly last year. According to Counterpoint, the number of iPhones manufactured and shipped out of the country rose 65% from the previous year.

The firm stated that Foxconn, one of Apple's largest contract manufacturers, and Wistron were the two fastest-growing manufacturers of Apple products in India for the final quarter of 2022.

Foxconn's CEO Young Liu spent a week last month in India and met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Apple stated in its statement on Monday that it was working with suppliers and its iPhone assembly lines to 'produce an increasing number of components.

Apple's collaboration with Indian suppliers, of all sizes, supports hundreds of thousand jobs in the country.

It added that the company's mobile app business had also grown to support over 1 million jobs for developers in the country.

Apple's increased activity in India is part of a trend where companies are diversifying away from China.

According to Counterpoint, in recent years the nation of south Asia has seen its share in global smartphone production grow significantly. From less than 10% last year to almost a fifth this year.