The Times of India reports the Indian government is reportedly ready to approve Apple’s request to open its own retail stores in the country. The government is said to be ready to relax some of its rules that prevented the iPhone maker from opening retail locations in India.
Apple currently has no wholly-owned stores in India and sells its products through a number of distributors. Back in January, the company sent an application to the country’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) for approval of several planned Apple retail outlets.
The report indicates a committee, led by DIPP secretary Ramesh Abhishek, is prepared to recommend exempting Apple from a law requiring single-brand foreign owned stores to source at least 30% of their goods from domestic suppliers.
“The committee has found that the company’s products are cutting edge technology and state-of-the-art,” said sources familiar with the matter. “It has recommended to exempt them from the local sourcing norms.”
The wording in that comment is important, as it may indicate the the Indian government may make similar allowances for other retailers who sell “state-of-the-art” and “cutting-edge technology” if local suppliers are unavailable.
Apple has long wanted to enter India’s retail market with it’s own brick-and-mortar locations. The country has the third largest smartphone market in the world, with over 200 million users.