With the government of India on Wednesday relaxing its rules to allow foreign single-brand retailers to sell their products online, Apple is reportedly preparing to start selling iPhones directly to customers in the country. According to two unidentified industry sources cited by ET, the company will initially sell the devices through its own web store that is likely to appear in the next 3-5 months.
The report also states that the company will also continue with its plans to establish its Apple Store stores in Mumbai and other cities in the next 12-18 months, with the government relaxing some of the rules around the mandatory standard of 30 percent local supply by allowing exports and contract manufacturing to be counted for that quota.
Along with iPhones, Apple may also be looking to sell its iPads, Macs, Air Pods and other products through its web store, in addition to online sales greatly contributing to the company's results in the country. According to one of the two executives cited by the report, about 35-40 percent of iPhone sales in the country come from electronic commerce. "Online is also a great sales driver for iPads and MacBooks and contributes more than 25% of annual sales in India," said.
While Apple has yet to confirm or deny the report, it is no surprise that the company tries to capitalize on the burgeoning e-commerce market in the country by launching its own web store. However, it will be interesting to see how successful the company will be, given that the majority of iPhone / MacBook online sales occur during promotional periods with massive discounts; something that Apple is not likely to offer in its own web store.