Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the first Apple Store in India would open its doors in 2021 during the company’s annual shareholder meeting.
According to BBC, Cook stated that Apple has plans to open the first physical location in India in 2021. This will follow the launch of an online outlet, which is expected to take off later this year.
In 2018, India laws dictated that foreign brands opening single-branded stores would not be permitted. This would mean that Apple would have to seek a local partner in order to open a retail location in the country. Since then, Apple had to formulate a plan for approval which would see the company being allowed to launch an Apple Store without a local partner involved.
As of now, Apple has been selling its devices through third-party sources and stores in India. The company has tried in the past to successfully gain a foothold in order to open an Apple Store in the country in the past. While Apple maintains a presence within India thanks to third-party distributors and sellers, it still pales in comparison to the presence both Samsung and Huawei have in the country.
While Apple’s move into India was expected by many, seeing as though the country has become the second-largest smartphone market in the world, the date of 2021 was unexpected to investors.