The cult-like following that Apple and its products enjoy isn’t exactly a surprise to anyone. Each year, fans line up outside Apple stores (at times, even days in advance) to get their hands on the newest Apple products before anyone else. India is no exception, with Apple products being quite popular in the country.
But despite all that popularity, Apple is not even close to being a dominant player in the hugely-competitive Indian smartphone market. Heavy import duties inflate the prices of Apple’s already-expensive products even further, putting off a lot of potential customers. The company also doesn’t have a single Apple store (which are almost as iconic as its products) in the country, and sells its products through ‘authorized resellers’ instead.
The major reason is that Apple’s plans to open own retail outlets in India continue to face governmental and regulatory roadblocks. That may finally change soon, as Apple is reportedly planning to open ‘flagship’ franchisee outlets at key locations in India’s metropolitan cities.
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According to ET, citing senior industry executives, “these ‘flagship’ stores will be much larger than the ‘authorized reseller’ outlets that the company currently has, occupying as much as 5,000 sq. ft. of space.” The executives added, “The ‘Flagship Apple Premium Reseller’ outlets will become a ‘stepdown’ version of the iconic company-owned Apple Retail stores, and will come up in ‘extremely prominent locations’ as anchor shops in malls and high-street shopping areas.”