American multinational technology company Apple has announced that it will launch its ecommerce site, Apple Store Online, on September 23 in India.
The platform will offer financing options and a trade-in programme, apart from special student pricing on Mac and iPad, with discounts on accessories, a statement said. The Cupertino, California-based company said it will follow contactless delivery procedures, keeping in mind Covid-19 precautions, for orders made on the platform.
The move follows the August 2019 government order that relaxed local sourcing norms for both materials sourced in India and those exported under the local law. It has benefitted players such as Swedish furniture retailer IKEA and Apple, which had been at the forefront seeking relaxation on local sourcing norms for companies with Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India.
“We’re proud to be expanding in India and want to do all we can to support our customers and their communities,” Deirdre O’Brien, senior vice president of retail + people for Apple, said.
“We know our users are relying on technology to stay connected, engage in learning and tap into their creativity, and by bringing the Apple Store online to India, we are offering our customers the very best of Apple at this important time,” she said.
Apple currently retails online in partnership with third party ecommerce platforms Amazon, Flipkart and Paytm Mall. It has previously expressed disappointment at the discounts that these platforms offer on its products. In the offline world, Apple works with authorised premium resellers, although the company has indicated that it will launch its first India physical store in Mumbai by 2021, as per media reports.
Amid US-China tensions, Apple has also moved a part of its manufacturing to India from China. As part of the Indian government’s production-linked incentive scheme (PLI), Apple also announced its first Made-in-India phone, the iPhone 11, manufactured by its global contract manufacturer Foxconn in Chennai. The company’s Taiwanese manufacturer Wistron also has a facility in Kolar, Karnataka, where it is reportedly manufacturing components for the brand’s flagship iPhone 12.