Chief Executive Tim Cook on Wednesday said Apple Inc. will open an online store in India in 2020 followed by its first physical retail store in 2021.
Tim Cook was responding to a question by one of Apple’s shareholders about the company’s plans for the Indian market during the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Cupertino, California.
“We needed to get approval from the government to go in there ourselves, rather than with a domestic partner,” Cook said.
Currently, Apple products are being sold by third-party Apple authorised distributors and retailers, who also seemingly handle most of the marketing right now.
“I don’t want somebody else to run the brand for us,” he added.
Cook did not reveal the exact date or month of the store launch during the meeting. However, the announcement does confirm Apple stepping its foot in India’s online market this year.
Previously, Apple was expected to launch its first online store in India between January and March, the first quarter of 2020. The decision was made after the Indian government eased Foreign Direct Investment regulations in August 2019.
Reports in January started coming out about Apple postponing its online store plans for India, citing logistical issues.
The company is said to be working on the issues, therefore, delaying the launch of its online store further.
Cook is expected to visit India between June and July 2020 to take stock of the India business, including an expansion of its manufacturing plans, exports, and rollout of both company-owned online and brick-and-mortar Apple stores.