Apple will open its first retail store in India next year. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, said that the iPhone maker will also open an online store this year. He confirmed Apple’s plans for Indian market during the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Cupertino, California. It is reportedly taking time for Apple to open a store in India since the company is looking to operate in India without a local partner. “I don’t think we would be a very good retail partner of retail,” he said. “We like to do things our way.”
Tim Cook has been bullish about Apple’s prospects in India since his visit in 2016. During the shareholder meeting, Cook also called himself a “huge believer” in the opportunities presented by the country. He added that the world’s second biggest country by population remains unparalleled in terms of vibrancy and demographics. Apple held its shareholder meeting at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park campus. The meeting was not available for streaming nor did the company offer audio recording. Even reporters were not allowed to attend the meeting.
The shareholder meeting is an opportunity for owners of Apple stock to question the key executives directly. During the Q&A session, Apple executives also spoke about the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak. According to Bloomberg, Apple has re-opened about 30 of its 42 retail stores in China. Suppliers and its assembly partners are also believed to be coming back up to speed. However, there remains concerns about Apple’s product roadmap for this fiscal year.
There are already reports claiming that Apple might miss out on timeline for the launch of iPhone SE 2 (or iPhone 9). There are also reports that even iPhone 12 supply might get affected because of the Coronavirus outbreak. Cook also told shareholders that the company has invested over $16 billion in research and development. He also explained why the company did not buy the rights to the Friends reunion, which will be on HBO Max in May. Apple has seen huge boost with iPhone XR sales in India. An online store could put the company in a better position to compete with Samsung and OnePlus in India.