Apple has over 500 retail stores world wide—however none in India. That would quickly change. Yesterday (Nov. 17), the corporate marketed over 13 retail retailer job listings within the nation on its web site.
The Cupertino firm is hiring technical specialists, retailer leaders and managers, operations specialists, enterprise professionals, and its trademark Genius Bar specialists at “varied places in India.”
A Nov. 16 LinkedIn post by Mumbai-based Apple recruiter Nidhi Sharma confirmed that the preliminary shops could be in Mumbai and Delhi. “A job at Apple is not like some other you’ve had…As a result of no matter your job is right here, you’ll be a part of one thing huge and extraordinary,” Sharma wrote.
On the Bengaluru Tech Summit yesterday, Apple’s vp of operations, Priya Balasubramaniam, additionally confirmed that the corporate is seeking to open bodily retail shops, though she didn’t specify a timeline. To this point, Apple has solely bought its merchandise via third-party sellers in India, or via on-line portals akin to Amazon, Flipkart, and Paytm Mall.
Apple straight or not directly helps over 1 million jobs in India already, Balasubramaniam mentioned. This consists of its personal fulltime staff, builders of apps for its iOS ecosystem, and employees at its factories.
Apple’s long-awaited retail plans in India
Apple debuted in India in August 2008, and has been trying to set up a brick-and-mortar presence there for years. After CEO Tim Cook dinner’s fanfare-filled maiden trip to the nation in 2016, Apple lastly secured permission from the federal government to plan a retail presence.
Nonetheless Apple’s incapability to supply at the least 30% of uncooked supplies regionally—a requirement for overseas retailers establishing standalone shops in India—prevented it from establishing store for one more three years.
In 2019, after a lot lobbying, India eased local sourcing norms for overseas retailers, together with Apple. By October of that yr, the agency had reportedly scouted a 25,000 sq. foot location in considered one of Mumbai’s enterprise parks to be its flagship India retailer.
Then the pandemic arrived, setting back its retail retailer plans as soon as extra.
What’s the standing of Apple India’s on-line retailer?
With plans for its offline retailer plans on maintain, Apple shifted to constructing its on-line presence in India, launching its own online store in September 2020.
The transfer got here at an opportune time: The more affordable iPhone 11 and the locally-assembled iPhone SE had given the model a lift, there was pent-up demand after India’s three-month-long nationwide lockdown, and home manufacturing was on the rise.
Within the June-September quarter, Apple’s iPhone gross sales in India surpassed 2 million for the primary time. Throughout this era, Apple was the quickest rising smartphone model, posting 212% year-on-year progress owing to sturdy demand for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 11, in line with an October report by market intelligence agency Counterpoint Analysis.
Apple’s “centered technique” on the India market, coupled with an “aggressive on-line channel technique,” has paid off, believes Prachir Singh, senior analyst at Counterpoint.
Apple’s India costs have been among the many most expensive on this planet on account of steep import duties. Singh believes cheaper choices in latest months, made attainable by elevated native manufacturing, are serving to to drive gross sales.
Through the 2021 fiscal yr (which ends in September for Apple), the iPhone maker mentioned it had doubled its enterprise in India. “We’re optimistic in regards to the future, particularly as we see sturdy demand for our new merchandise,” Cook dinner mentioned within the firm’s Oct. 28 earnings call.
Apple nonetheless faces challenges within the nation. Covid-19 has hit production lines exhausting. Individually, Apple might face an anti-trust probe like those in US, Europe, and different components of Asia, as Indian authorities examine the 30% charge on in-app transactions it costs builders.
The Apple retailer expertise
Increasing its retail presence globally is about extra than simply promoting laptops and telephones for Apple.
Overseas, Apple shops are extra akin to “town squares” than purchasing retailers. Their free wifi is a big draw, and a few provide alternatives for co-working, full with modern boardrooms. At a number of places, the corporate hosts classes through which “creative pros” educate clients abilities akin to images, music, artwork, coding, and extra. Such experience-driven retail goals to foster a community of lifelong followers of the model.
The shops additionally give Apple the chance to sort out its a large restore downside in India, the place any repair must be achieved by Apple’s licensed third-party retailers, and normally takes months and costs several hundreds dollars. A number of individuals have taken to Twitter to complain about harrowing service. (They’re not alone find it tough to get fixes achieved; Apple not too long ago launched a service for customers fascinated about making an attempt their own basic repairs.)
By bringing a retailer to India, Apple can arrange its personal Genius Bars, and hopefully mitigate a few of these troubles.