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Apple opens first Retail Store in India as it looks to country for Manufacturing

Source : The Wall Street Journal (WSJ)

Apple opens first Retail Store in India as it looks to country for Manufacturing
First Apple store in India in Mumbai

Apple opens first Retail Store in India as it looks to country for Manufacturing

Apple Inc. opened its first retail store in India Tuesday, with Chief Executive Tim Cook celebrating the launch in person, as the company ramps up efforts to diversify its supply chain and boost smartphone sales in the world’s most populous country.

The tech company opened a bricks-and-mortar location in Mumbai, a financial hub in India, and said it is planning to open a second location Thursday in New Delhi, India’s capital.

Mr. Cook said earlier this year that he was focused on India, where Apple has been using financing options and trade-ins to make its products more affordable compared with cheaper alternatives from China.

“India is [a] hugely exciting market for us and is a major focus,” he said on Apple’s earnings call in February.

Fueling Apple’s push into India is an ambitious project to diversify more of its supply chain away from China. For more than 20 years, Apple’s primary base of manufacturing has been China. But recent turmoil in its China operations has propelled Apple to more aggressively move operations to other countries, such as Vietnam and India, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Outside of China, India is viewed by Apple as the main candidate for producing the iPhone, the company’s most important product that still accounts for roughly half of its sales. India currently accounts for less than 10% of global iPhone production, mostly for selling into the domestic market. Apple’s longer-term goal is to produce 40% to 45% of its iPhones from India, according to Ming-chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities who follows the supply chain.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook interacts with people as Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail and People looks on, during the inauguration of India’s first Apple retail store in Mumbai, India, April 18, 2023. (REUTERS/Francis Mascarenha)

Apple has encountered problems of building up iPhone manufacturing in India, the Journal previously reported. India doesn’t have the same level top-down governmental coordination that is found in China, which has previously helped clear the way for Apple to build up operations to the scale it needs in the country.

Apple’s main manufacturing partner, Foxconn Technology Group, is also considering a major expansion into India, including expanding iPhone production in an existing plant near Chennai, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the Journal reported last month.

Apple has struggled to gain traction in India, where the company previously had mostly been selling its products online or through resellers and retail chains.

India is the world’s second-biggest smartphone market, both in terms of annual shipments and sales, according to market intelligence firm IDC. It accounts for almost 12% of the global market.

The retail stores are among Apple’s first steps to try to increase its sales in India. Apple is projected to have a 5% share of the country’s overall smartphone market this year, up from 1% in 2019, according to Counterpoint Research.

The multistory Mumbai shop is in a bustling commercial area. Apple said the store will use solar panels and renewable energy. It is expected to be one of the company’s most energy-efficient locations. The company has more than 520 stores worldwide, according to its website.

Mr. Cook tweeted a picture of himself outside the Mumbai store on Tuesday, saying, “The energy, creativity, and passion in Mumbai is incredible!”

The multistory Mumbai shop is in a bustling commercial area. Apple said the store will use solar panels and renewable energy. It is expected to be one of the company’s most energy-efficient locations. The company has more than 520 stores worldwide, according to its website. Mr. Cook tweeted a picture of himself outside the Mumbai store on Tuesday, saying, “The energy, creativity, and passion in Mumbai is incredible!” Apple opens first Retail Store in India Apple opens first Retail Store in India Apple opens first Retail Store in India Apple opens first Retail Store in India Apple opens first Retail Store in India IgMp

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