Apple to open its online store in India on September 23

Andrew Cummings
September 20, 2020

Touted as a "premium experience", Apple Store online in India is set to be staffed by Apple Specialists who can offer assistance with retail orders, device set up, product information and more in both English and Hindi, the company said. The Cupertino-based brand recently announced the same through its Newsroom webpage.

The online store will also offer buyers the ability to custom configure any Mac before purchasing, and will provide discounts on accessories to students as well as special pricing on Macs and iPads, as well as offering financing options, and a trade-in program.

Apple now sells through third-party retailers in India including Amazon, and the country is seen as a huge potential market for the firm due to its giant 1.3-billion population and relatively low number of smartphone owners. Indian customers will get online Apple Specialists for any sort of customer service queries from buying to setting the devices up.

In February, Apple CEO Tim Cook had said the company will launch its online store in India later this year, while its first physical retail store will open in the country in 2021.

An application to open Apple Stores in India in 2016 was reportedly rebuffed because of a rule that states foreign retailers must source 30 percent of their products locally.

Apple, which has already started manufacturing certain iPhone models in India, has reportedly selected locations for its exclusive retail stores in the country as well. As of now, the trade-in program will be restricted to the iPhone but we can expect it to expand to other product categories. It is the first time that Apple will have an official direct retail presence in the country. The official press release does not mention the range of iPhones on the same. The company also notes it is fielding teams to support local remote learning organizations during the coronavirus pandemic. This means orders that do not require a signature will be left at the customer's door, while those that do replace signatures with verbal confirmation.

Apple's online store is launching just in the time of the coming festive season in India. Keeping in mind the festive season, a signature gift wrap and personalized engraving will be available for select products. The engraving of emoji or text in English, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu will be available for AirPods, and English engraving will be available for iPad and Apple Pencil.

Starting October, Apple will also hold online Today at Apple sessions where creative pros will share their insights on photography and music. He noted that most of Apple's online sales are mainly depend on Amazon and Flipkart, which have obtained much larger volumes in the low-price segments, led by Chinese corporations such as Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo.

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