Apple Inc. has now focused its attention on enhancing footprint in India. The company has laid out its physical expansion plan and envisages about 100 Physical Standalone Stores. These exclusive outlets will be in addition to multiple Store-In-Stores, the company is already planning to open.
The Standalone as well as store-in-stores establishments will function under the franchisee model. Interestingly, apart from a mandatory presence in the top cities, commonly referred to as Tier I cities, Apple is planning to extend the coverage to Tier II and III Cities that have now started to exhibit strong preference to the Apple Brand and have the means to procure their products.
Apple’s presence in India as a Tech Company has been officially sketchy. The company has recently started selling its iPhones without contract. Nonetheless, all the latest variants of iPhones were easily made available by third-party agencies by ‘Jail Breaking’ them. Evidently, the margin scored by these unofficial and many-a-time unauthorized resellers, is quite high. The latest & coveted iPhone 5S is rumored to be selling in upwards of Rs. 1.15 Lakh or US$ 1885, when it is officially and off-contract, available for US$ 749 in the US.
Apple’s decision to have physical presence in India is perhaps stemmed from the desire to have a fighting chance against the likes of Samsung which has established its dominance in the Smartphone Category. Additionally, Indians, unlike US, have traditionally trusted companies which had physical presence in their locality.
Apple already has multiple resellers in the Tier I Cities & claims to have really benefited from them, but so far there hasn’t been any special and specific ‘Apple Store’ in India. Apple Stores have always been a landmark and most of the time; these iconic structures are purely standalone with no other store or office attached. Hence it is elementary; the company will be scouting for prominent real estate locations. Besides, with a direct presence, patrons and buyers could finally start receiving in-store only, promotions. What do you think?
Image Credit: ps