A report from Indian news outlet Economic Times has today claimed that as part of its process to launch a first brick-and-mortar store in the country, Apple is set to start selling locally-made iPhones in India online.
Apple has been clamoring for an offline presence in the country, which is now the second-biggest smartphone market in the world. But before an Apple Store could be opened, the Cupertino company is looking to establish and strengthen its roots in India by selling online the iPhone models that are manufactured locally. The first manufacturing assembly for Apple is set for opening in Bengaluru, often described as the Silicon Valley of South Asia.
Commencing online sales is also easier for Apple because it doesn’t require authority approval of any sort, nor any foreign direct investment government regulation hinders the process. One of the unnamed industry executives talking to Economic Times commented that Apple is looking at a possible period of around Diwali or October later this year, which holds major religious importance in the country and is considered an active shopping season.
The iPhone model reported to be manufactured and sold online at the time is iPhone SE. Ever since its launch last year in March, it’s been regarded as a light-on-the-pocket powerful iPhone that competes with – and beats many – flagship Android options in the same price range of $400. Around 400,000 units of iPhone SE are said to be part of the first batch of iPhone production in India, which the company hopes to drive down the cost for and sell locally through its online presence.
Only recently, an iOS App Development Center was also opened in Bengaluru, in a series of moves that make clear Apple’s intentions not only about India, but about the region and the sort of importance that it is giving to this relatively untapped market.