Apple will launch its first online store in India on September 23 to directly cater to one of the biggest smartphone markets in the world, the Cupertino-based company announced on Friday.
Apple has been relying on third-party e-commerce operators such as Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart to sell its products online in India.
“We are proud to be expanding in India and want to do all we can to support our customers and their communities,” Deirdre O’Brien, the company’s senior vice president of retail and people, said.
“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,” said Ms O’Brien.
Apple’s launch is coinciding with India’s holiday season that sees some of the biggest sales every year. It is also building the first company-run retail store in Mumbai that will open next year.
The online store will offer full range of Apple products and support directly to customers across the country for the first time. Customers can get advice, receive guidance and learn about new products directly from Apple, both in English and Hindi, the company said.
Apple has been operating in India for more than 20 years, and the company’s ongoing investment and innovation support nearly 900,000 jobs across the country.
Apple claimed the top spot in the premium smartphone segment of India in the fourth quarter of last year, with a whopping 75.6 per cent share, according to Massachusetts-based market researcher International Data Corporation.
Apple's sales were driven by aggressive price drops on previous generation models, bank offers and a lower iPhone 11 launch price, said IDC.
Premium market is defined as the smartphones that are priced over $500 (Dh1,835).
For the health and well-being of its own teams, customers, and communities, all orders from the online store will ship with contactless delivery, the company said.
“Orders that do not require a signature will be left at the customer’s door and those that do will need only a verbal confirmation from a safe distance instead of a written signature,” it added.