On April 18, Apple established its first retail store in Mumbai, India. The business established another one in Delhi two days later. The owner of these two businesses wants to establish a stronger relationship with Indian customers.
With a population of over 1.3 billion people and a rapidly growing middle class, India offers a compelling opportunity for Apple to tap into a new customer base, expand its global presence, and fuel further growth.
Capturing a Lucrative Market
India's emerging market presents incredible growth potential for Apple. With a burgeoning middle class and increasing disposable incomes, more and more Indians are aspiring to own premium smartphones and embrace the digital revolution. The rate of purchasing premium smartphones has increased from 4 out of 100 to 7 out of 100.
Apple, with its reputation for quality, design, and innovation, aims to capitalize on this trend and capture a significant market share in the world's second-most populous nation.
Beyond the consumer perspective, Apple's expanding sway in the high-end smartphone industry has forced the tech giant to move beyond the online and reseller model.
With a 17% YoY growth in shipments last year, Apple commanded a 4% market share. In 2022, it shipped smartphones valued as close to $6 billion.
With shops, they can now better inform customers about Apple, which will lead to an increase in customers, sales, and customer satisfaction, according to research company Techarc.
India is a diverse country with a rich cultural tapestry and distinct consumer preferences. Recognizing this, Apple has made efforts to embrace localization by tailoring its products and services to cater to Indian consumers' needs and preferences. This includes incorporating regional languages, offering payment options suited to the Indian market, and developing localized apps and services. By adapting to the local context, Apple aims to foster stronger connections with Indian customers and build brand loyalty.
Embracing Localization and Cultural Sensitivity
Apple's decision must be seen in the context of the expanding market for high-end smartphones. According to data conducted by the company Cyber Media Data (CMR), the premium smartphone market in India has experienced double-digit growth over the past two years.
This need may aid the business in expanding its clientele throughout the nation and strengthening brand loyalty. In this case, having physical retail locations in addition to internet sales channels can increase income in the nation. According to CMR, Apple will probably sell over 8 million iPhones in the upcoming fiscal year, taking up 6% of the market.
Geopolitics and COVID-19 have made it imperative for Apple to consider alternate production locations and reduce its reliance on China in recent years.
India has proven to be Apple's most dependable and safe ally as it shifts the emphasis of its production. Foxconn and Wistron have been producing iPhones for Apple in India since 2017.
Another major reason for Apple’s growth in India is the troubled relationship between America and China. Apple had its strongest manufacturing base in China but because of the clashes between the nations after covid apple wanted a option B or a replacement of China. Since India is currently a growing economy and is now tops the population list, Apple focused more on developing its base in India.
Strengthening Retail and Distribution Channels
Companies like Apple have profited from India's production-linked incentives plan, which has helped these contract manufacturers increase their skills. Apple's expansion into India involves a significant focus on local manufacturing.
By setting up production facilities and partnering with local manufacturers, Apple not only aims to reduce costs but also supports the Indian government's "Make in India" initiative. This move not only helps Apple navigate import challenges but also fosters job creation and skilling opportunities within the country. By nurturing the local manufacturing ecosystem, Apple reinforces its commitment to long-term growth in the Indian market.
Apple products are currently offered through both online and traditional retail channels. Even its own internet store allows for the sale of goods. Apple consumers may choose items online or in-person, depending on their convenience, with the help of these new locations or any future retail expansions.
Apple has been steadily increasing its authorized reseller network, opening exclusive stores, and enhancing its online presence to reach more Indian consumers. This approach aims to provide a seamless and superior customer experience while also boosting brand visibility across the country. With a growing retail presence, Apple aims to forge deeper connections with Indian consumers and position itself as a premium and aspirational brand.