Apple Inc. is gearing up for a big push into India to gain market share, especially for its “mobility products,” a source with knowledge of the company’s plans in India told International Business Times. The company will add stores where authorized resellers will specifically focus on selling iPhones, iPads, iPods and related accessories, the person said.
While such products are available across hundreds of large retail chains, smaller mom-and-pop electronics retailers and via online shopping sites, stores dedicated to selling Apple-only products in India comprise of the “premium resellers.” There are about 100 such stores in the country, selling Apple products, including its computers.
“Apple has recognized that sometimes a retail partner who wants to join is inhibited by the wide range of products,” the source said. “So there is a plan to pilot an effort to expand smaller variants of Apple’s stores, which sell only mobility products.”
The source declined to say how many stores might be added or over what timeframe.
Apple will add 500 stores in 12 cities through retail partners, including existing premium resellers and new ones that meet the company’s standards, tech site NDTV Gadgets reported earlier on Monday, citing unidentified sources. Apple may have already identified the locations, according to the report.
These 500 stores are said to be part of the first phase of a new “Authorised Mobility Reseller” program that Apple is launching, focusing on sales of its iPhones, iPads and related accessories, NDTV reported.
Over the last three years, Apple has incrementally taken several steps to gain market share in India, where carriers don’t subsidize handsets and consumers pay the full cost of smartphones and buy them unlocked in retail shops or online.
By partnering with national-level distributors, banks, and the country’s top wireless carriers. including Bharti Airtel Ltd. and Vodafone Group’s Indian unit, Apple, through its retail partners, now offers many different plans that make it easier for consumers to pay for its expensive premium products.
Cash-back offers, discounts on specific cards, and zero-down-payment plans have all helped Apple ratchet up sales in India, potentially placing the company on track to sell twice as many iPhones in its current fiscal year as the previous one.