Apple has finally opened its first physical store in India, almost 25 years after entering the South Asian market. The store, located in Mumbai, features a unique glass exterior and was opened to hundreds of customers. The move is a significant milestone for the tech giant, which hopes to turn India into a key global iPhone assembling hub.
The 22,000 square foot BKC Apple flagship store is located in a posh mall at the Bandra Kurla Complex. The store, which is one of Apple’s greenest sites, takes its design cues from the famous kaali peeli (black and white) taxis of Mumbai. With a dedicated solar array and minimal dependency on fossil fuels for operations, Apple claims its Mumbai shop is built to be among the most energy-efficient Apple stores in the world.
Deirdre O’ Brien, senior vice president of retail at Apple, stated, “At Apple, our customers are at the center of everything we do, and our teams are excited to celebrate this wonderful moment with them as we open our first retail store in India.”
Apple aims to produce 25% of all iPhones in India by 2025 and has already exported more than $5bn worth of smartphones from the country in the past financial year. However, Apple products remain expensive for Indian customers, with prices significantly higher than in the US.
Apple products remain expensive for Indian customers, with prices significantly higher than in the US, due to high taxes on imported iPhones in India. Indian users pay around 44% in taxes and duties, which is much higher than other popular markets like Dubai, Singapore and the US, as India charges 18% GST on smartphones, a basic customs duty of 20% and a 2% cess. Assembling in India is a factor affecting pricing, but partnering with banks to offer affordability offers can bring down the upfront cost of the iPhone.