Apple might be able to open its exclusive stores in India sooner than expected as CEO Tim Cook seeks to explore growth opportunities in the second largest smartphone market in the world.
A Bloomberg report quoted a source who claimed that the Indian government was pushing Apple’s application. He added that the company will resubmit the application as it was not in the right format without giving a timeline for the final approval.
The move comes at a time when Apple iPhone sales are slowing down which accounts for two-thirds of revenue for the company. However, the company will still face a challenge in the country as the market is dominated by budget smartphone players in comparison to Apple’s products which are expensive and are considered premium.
“Most of the growth in India will come from new users coming into the Apple ecosystem, unlike in the West where growth is mainly from existing users upgrading,” Tarun Pathak, a senior analyst at Counterpoint Technology Market Research, was quoted as saying. “You can expect the stores to focus mostly on iPhones.”
The company will likely continue a policy of major discounting on older models -- such as the iPhone 5s -- to bring more new users into the fold, Pathak said. Chinese volumes are 15 times that of India, signalling room to grow, he added.
Apple uses re-sellers in India for its products. Domestic distributor Redington India Ltd. has dropped about 5 percent since Apple in January confirmed it had applied to open stores in Asia’s third-largest economy.