Back in August last year, the Government of India had relaxed the FDI rule for single-brand retailers. The move allows companies to open online stores in the country before setting up brick-and-mortar stores. At that time, Apple had revealed that the company’s official online store would be launched in the first quarter of 2020 for the Indian market. However, according to a new report by TechCrunch, the much-awaited online store has been delayed and will now be operational from the third quarter of this year.
Sources close to the matter said that the company needs more time to complete the back-end and logistics work and the new tentative deadline is now July to September. Apple CEO Tim Cook is expected to visit India around June-July to take stock of the India business including manufacturing expansion and exports from the country. During his visit, he will likely rollout company-owned online and retail Apple stores. The report also added that the company’s first physical store which will be inaugurated in Mumbai will take an additional few months for setting up and might not be ready this year.
Apple currently sells its products in India through third-party offline retailers and e-commerce platforms like Amazon India, Flipkart and Paytm Mall. The company executives have expressed their disappointment at online platforms for offering massive discounts on Apple products.
In related news, Tim Cook revealed Apple’s double-digit growth in India for the quarter that ended in December. Earlier today, Apple also launched its smart wireless speaker, the HomePod in the country.