Global tech giant Apple will be launching its first online Apple Store in India on September 23 offering a full range of its products and support directly to the customers across India. The company has assured that it will offer the same “premium experience” online as it did in its brick-and-mortar stores.
Commenting on the same, Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail + People, 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.”
The online stores will also have Apple Specialists, who will help customers with a range of product-related queries — from custom-configuring any Mac to setting up new devices. The customers can get advice, receive guidance and learn about new products directly from Apple in Hindi and English.
The platform will also offer a range of affordable services/products through its financing options and trade-in programme. Students can shop for a Mac or iPad with special pricing and receive discounts on accessories and AppleCare+ as well. “In October, customers can expect free online Today at Apple sessions led by local Creative Pros, focused on photography and music,” the company said.
The company has also rolled out a contactless delivery option to minimise exposure to the Covid-19 pandemic. Orders that do not require a signature will be left at the customer’s door, and those that do will need only a verbal confirmation from a safe distance instead of a written signature.
The development comes as Apple is going all out in manufacturing iPhones worth $40 Bn in India with the help of its contract manufacturer Foxconn and Wistron. The company is also planning to hire 10,000 employees and invest INR 2,900 Cr in the new plant. The manufacturing facility is expected to be fully operational by October this year.
The initiative has been taken under the Indian government’s production-linked incentives (PLI) scheme, which has incentivised local handset manufacturing and exports. It has a corpus of INR 40K Cr and provides an incentive of 4-6% on incremental sales (over the base year) of goods manufactured in India.
As of October 2019, Apple sold iPhones worth $1.5 Bn in India, of which less than a third are locally manufactured. Meanwhile, it is a top investor in the manufacturing sector in China and produced merchandise valued at $220 Bn in China in the financial year 2018-19.