Apple to launch online store in India, September 23


New Delhi: Apple said Friday it will launch its online store September 23 in India. The online store will offer its full range of products to customers across India for the first time. It is a move that will help the tech giant cash in on the festive demand. The store will provide customers with the same premium experience found in Apple Store locations around the world,” Apple said in a statement.

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

“We know our users are relying on technology to stay connected, engage in learning, and tap into their creativity. By bringing the Apple Store online to India, we are offering our customers the very best of Apple at this important time. I am sure they will have a great experience,” Apple senior vice-president of Retail Deirdre O’Brien said.

Apple currently sells its products in India through third-party sellers and online marketplaces like Flipkart and Amazon. In a major push to single-brand retail, the government had last year relaxed foreign direct investment (FDI) guidelines, offering players more flexibility on local sourcing norms.

The Centre had also done away with a provision that required companies to mandatorily set up a brick-and-mortar store before getting into online retail trading. Following the government’s move, Apple had said it was keen on offering online and in-store experiences to Indian users at par with its global standards.

The Apple Store online will allow people to shop for Apple products, with online Apple specialists available. They will help with services like custom-configuring Macs to setting up new devices. Customers can get advice, receive guidance, and learn about new products directly from Apple. The languages used will be English and Hindi, the statement said.

The online store will also offer financing options and trade-in programmes. All orders from the Apple Store online will ship with contactless delivery, the statement said.

Orders that do not require a signature will be left at the customer’s door. Those that do will need only a verbal confirmation from a safe distance instead of a written signature, it added. These steps are being taken keeping in mind the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apple has been operating in India for over 20 years. The company’s ongoing investment and innovation support almost 9 lakh jobs in India, the company said. Its App Design and Development Accelerator in Bangalore has supported thousands of local developers.