For Indians, Apple has always been an aspirational brand of choice. After many years of waiting, Apple’s relationship with India is finally getting more intimate and potentially more stronger now. The Apple Online Store is launching in India on September 23, 2020. I believe the Apple Online Store is just the first in a series of nascent steps taken by Apple in India. This move comes at a time when the market conditions in India are fluid, and offer an opportunity for Apple to break free.
The Apple Online Store will enable it to offer Indians customers with the same suite of unique and seamless consumer experiences that other customers enjoy globally, including for instance, the ability to customise Apple products. In doing so, Apple would be able to leverage its brand strengths to the maximum.
Apple’s full range of products will be available through this online store. Customers would be able to get direct support from the Apple store. The Apple online store will offer a range of affordability options for customers, including financing options and trade-in programs. The company even intends to offer special students pricing for a Mac or iPad, and discounts on accessories and AppleCare+.
For a long time now, Apple’s India ambitions have been thwarted by local regulations and high costs. Over the past year, Apple has benefited from a series of developments: prudent pricing strategies on recent iPhones, increased local manufacturing, supply chain realignments, government reforms, and now, tensions with China.
- While Apple globally enjoys a market share of 14%, it only enjoys 2% market share in India in Q2 2020. However, the India story is just ramping up. In fact, the new iPhone SE 2020 accounted for two out of every five iPhones shipped in India. In the months ahead, with increased local assembling, Apple will be able to gain cost advantage that can be passed to customers, and thereby giving Apple a strong fillip.
- Apple’s prudent pricing strategy, including affordable pricing for newer generation iPhones and attractive discounting on older generation iPhones, put it on the path to market success. Buoyed by super response to its iPhone XR and iPhone 11 series, Apple logged an impressive 71% YoY growth in India in Q1 2020.
- Amidst the geopolitical tensions between US and China, and the pandemic, global supply chains are getting realigned. Apple’s partners, including Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron are participating in Make in India and ramping-up their operations locally. Apple has started local assembly of the iPhone 11 and the new iPhone SE 2020 in India.
- In August 2019, India announced that single-brand retailers could now set up their own online and physical stores without meeting the 30% made-in-India threshold. That helped the iPhone maker to ramp-up its India plans including online and offline forays.
Apple’s online store launch comes in a new normal, wherein homebound customers are veering towards online shopping. With the all-important festive season round the corner, Apple would be in a strong position to capitalise on its product portfolio, driven by prudent pricing strategy.
For instance, Indian customers can take assistance from online Apple Specialists for anything from custom-configuring any Mac to setting up new devices. Customers can get advice, receive guidance, and learn about new products directly from Apple, both in English and Hindi.
Keeping Deepavali in mind, Apple is offering signature gift wrap and personalised engraving for select products. Consumers can get engravings done not just in English, but in myriad vernacular languages, including Bengali, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, and Telugu, among others, for AirPods. English engraving will be available for iPad and Apple Pencil.
Customers will have the option to pay for products on Apple Store online with a debit card, credit card EMI, net banking, credit card on delivery, UPI, and RuPay. Apple will provide free, no-contact delivery on these products.