The India Times reports that Apple has taken the first major step toward opening the first official Apple retail location in India. The company filed an application earlier this week to open company-owned retail outlets in the country. Apple currently sells its products through a network of franchised stores.
The Apple stores famed for their ambience and unparalleled customer experience may soon come up in your city. Apple India has filed an application to open its own Apple branded stores in India with the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP), a person with direct knowledge of the matter said.
Secretary of India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Amitabh Kant, confirmed the company had indeed filed the necessary paperwork, saying, “We have just received Apple’s proposal. We are examining it.”
India recently relaxed its stringent foreign investment regulations, freeing foreign companies, like the U.S.-based Apple, to open retail locations in the country. Apple’s move comes after years of rumors indicating Apple would build a retail presence in the country, which is quickly becoming an important market for the Cupertino iPhone maker.
The US tech giant’s move stems from the government’s liberalisation of foreign direct investment rules on single-brand retail in November, which included relaxing mandatory local procurement condition for high-tech companies and allowing single-brand license holders to sell their products directly online.
Apple crossed the $1 billion sales mark for the first time in India last year. Data published by Registrar of Companies in November show that for the three-month period ending in March 2015, sales were up 44% year-over-year. Net profits doubled.
Apple has been working diligently to expand its global presence in recent years, with China as its main target market. Apple is also preparing a push into Latin America, with plans to open stores in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru.