Apple seeks DIPP nod to open its own stores

20 Jan 2016


Apple Inc filed a request with the Indian government to open its own stores, a strategy that would help the company better target consumers in one of the world's fastest-growing smartphone markets.

''Apple can confirm the filing,'' Singapore-based spokeswoman Katrina Tran said in an email to Bloomberg. She declined to elaborate. Newspaper reports say that Apple submitted its application to India's Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.

Chief executive officer Tim Cook is searching for new growth opportunities as global smartphone sales slow. Some analysts have predicted that iPhone sales will actually decline in 2016, a blow given that the product accounted for about two-thirds of the company's revenue in the last fiscal year.

Apple currently has more than 24 stores in China as part of a global network of more than 460 outlets it owns. It expects to open or replace as many as 50 stores globally this year, chief financial officer Luca Maestri told investors in October.

The DIPP is expected to seek some more information about the proposal, reports said.

''The company has sought permission for single brand retailing and sell its product online also,'' they said adding Apple has not mentioned the amount of investment or the number of stores it wants to open.

The development comes after the government relaxed the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy for single brand retailing.

The government may also relax sourcing norms for entities undertaking single brand retailing of products having 'state-of-the-art' and 'cutting edge' technology and where local sourcing is not possible.

Single brand retailers are also allowed to take ecommerce route for such trading.

At present, 100 per cent FDI is permitted in the sector. But beyond 49 per cent, permission of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) is required.

The company sells its products through Apple-owned retail stores in countries including China, Germany, the US, the UK and France.

It has no wholly-owned store in India and sells its products through distributors such as Redington and Ingram Micro.


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