Apple might finally be able to sell iPhones directly to customers in India from its own online store.. Yesterday, the government said it’s relaxing local sourcing norms for foreign direct investment (FDI) for single-brand retail, opening the door for Apple store like outlets.
That means the companies aren’t obliged to follow the rule that allowed brands to sell via their owns stores only if they source 30 percent of their hardware components locally.
According to new rules, all procurements made from India by a single-brand retail company for its own production will count towards local sourcing, even if the goods are exported. Plus, the government is considering removing the clause that counts export towards local sourcing for only the first five years. Companies are also now allowed to open an online store before brick-and-mortar shops.
A report from the Economic Times notes the iPhone maker intends to open its online store within three to five months. It’ll later set up one of its iconic stores in the financial captial of Mumbai in the coming 12-18 months.
Right now, Apple sells its products online through ecommerce partners such as Amazon, Flipkart, and Paytm Mall. We’ve asked Apple for a comment, and we’ll update the story accordingly.
Apple has less than two percent market share in India currently. This figure may not rise drastically with the arrival of the online store, given iPhone prices will still remain considerably high for the Indian market and strong competition offered by far cheaper Android devices. Still, it opens up a new avenue for the company to try boosting sales in the country.