Tech giant Apple is gearing to launch an online store in India to reduce its dependency on third-party channels in one of the fastest-growing markets for smartphones.
The e-store is expected to open next month and ahead of the festive season in India, mentions a Bloomberg report. Apple’s plan to have an online presence in India was in the pipeline for more than a year. However, it got delayed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The Cupertino, California-headquartered company is also planning to open two physical stores in Mumbai and Bengaluru respectively. According to the report, both physical stores are likely to start by next year.
The iPhone manufacturer has been planning to focus and invest in India after growing concerns over a trade dispute between the US and China. Apple has already started producing the iPhone SE in India at the Wistron facility in Karnataka. As per estimates, local manufacturing would help Apple reduce the import duty by 20% and help create more than 10,000 jobs.
Apple’s latest plan for India with its omnichannel presence might hurt e-commerce players, especially Flipkart and Amazon, which have been driving the popularity and market share of the $2 trillion-valued company’s products in India.
In the premium smartphone segment, Apple has the highest market share of 48.8%, followed by Samsung and OnePlus. According to an IDC report, the iPhone 11 and iPhone XR together accounted for 28% shipments in the segment in Q2 2020. In terms of online sales channel for smartphones, Amazon holds a 47% market share followed by Flipkart’s 42% during the period.
Notably, Chinese-owned Xiaomi had 10% market share when it comes to selling smartphones via its online store. People tend to prefer buying smartphones and laptops from e-commerce companies primarily because of discounts and deals available during special sale days.