Apple to go local in India: planning to open stores in several tier II cities


In a bid to expand its presence and gain some market share, Apple is planning to open several new stores across several big Indian cities and tier II markets. A report published by Times of India claims that the shops will be set up by Apple distributors Redington and Ingram micro besides existing trade partners.

The company is said to be taking this route to majorly target tier II cities like Guwahati, Pune and Durgapur where it sees a lot of potential due to the presence of a large student population. The report further adds that Current Technology Retail which one of the premium retailers for Apple has already set up such stores in Kolkata and Panchkula, in Haryana.

In order to gain more traction in the Indian market, Apple is continuously looking to adopt new strategies. Earlier last year, the company started EMI and buy-back offers on its several devices. It moreover sold its iPhone 4 on discounted price.

With Samsung’s products being a common site in the market, due to their presence in most of the stores – this new strategy of Apple presumably will help the company in gaining a significant market size. Though these stores will sell all the devices in Apple’s portfolio, they will mainly focus on the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad mini and the iPad 2.

Apple has not officially given anything on this but rumors of the shift to smaller cities by opening offline stores have circled since last October.

Indian smartphones market

No wonder Indian smartphone market is entering into an interesting phase. According to a recent report by TrendForce, where most of the global markets have seen a declining shift in their smartphones’ sales – developing countries like India and China – on a contrary have witnessed a positive growth. Moreover, IDC predicts India can become the third largest market for smartphones by 2017 with a largest proportion of smartphones expected to go to new users.

A report released by IAMAI and IMRB last year says that out of the total 150 million internet users in India, 87.1 million were mobile internet users – till Dec. 2012 – and this number is expected to reach 164.8 million by march 2015.

Where the Indian market clearly offers a significant scope for the companies to do a good business, it is expected that the competition to gain a bigger part of this market is going to get intense among the players. Moreover with increasing smartphone penetration, value added services’ market will also see an increase in demand and how mobile segment evolves itself to cater to that demand will be interesting to see in the time to come.

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