We have been hearing about Apple’s plans to open retail stores in the country since a while now, 2015 to be exact. However, the Cupertino-based tech company has been facing regulatory hurdles because of the Indian Government’s insistence on local manufacturing and raw material sourcing. Now, a new report by Bloomberg Quint claims that Apple will be setting up official stores in India next year and that New Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai will be the first three cities to get the said official retails stores from Apple. “Apple hopes to start opening stores in India next year and eventually set up three in New Delhi, Bengaluru (formerly known as Bangalore), and Mumbai, according to the people familiar with the company’s plans,” Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports.
The report also says that as part of its sales strategy revamp in India, Apple will be focussing on year-round deals and improving the Apple Maps experience in the country. “Instead of officially lowering its prices, Apple is in talks with retailers and banks to offer holiday deals all year round, according to people familiar with the plans,” says the report. This could mean better deals in the online and offline space on Apple’s premium flagships like the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and more in the smartphone category, and the MacBook Pro in the laptop category.
Evidence of this was seen recently when Apple held a sale in the country and offered zero down payments and low-cost EMI options on credit cards, at all offline Apple authorised resellers. These payment schemes were available on credit card from American Express, Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda, Citi, HDFC Bank, HSBC Bank, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, J&K Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, RBL Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, State Bank of India, Union Bank of India and YES Bank.
The Bloomberg report also goes on to say the Apple is looking to improve the Apple Maps experience in India by 2020. According to the report, “The 2020 revamp is supposed to fix Maps’ failings, say the people familiar with Apple’s plans, but so far, the Maps development office the company set up in Hyderabad in 2016 has mostly been used for editing map data in other parts of the world.” It was recently reported that Apple sold less than a million iPhones in the first half of 2018 in India. A research director from Counterpoint Research claimed that even if Apple registers a big boost in the traditionally strong second half, Apple will still fall short of even matching last year's numbers.
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