Apple could be set to bring its popular retail stores to India following the Indian government’s decision to allow 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in the retail sector. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) claims Apple is already interested in opening stores in India, with the Cupertino company reportedly in the process of finalizing its business plan.
Live Mint reports that Apple became interested in bringing its retail stores to India after the government changed its policies on FDI for the retail sector and started allowing full ownership of single-brand retail stores by foreign companies. Sources for the DIPP claim that Apple has already expressed its interest in entering the Indian retail market:
They [Apple] have not told us how many stores they will open. We have made the policy. The doors are now open.
But Apple is up against another Indian policy, which states that businesses with FDI beyond 51% must source at least 30% of the total value of its products sold from Indian small industries. This obviously isn’t part of Apple’s strategy, but the DIPP hinted that it could be open to making an exception:
Let Apple finalize its business plan and the investment it wants to make. If they tell us that the 30% sourcing is a problem, at that stage we will look into it.
Apple currently has over 361 retail stores all over the world, but in places such as India where official stores are yet to reach, the cost of Apple products can be hugely inflated. Indian’s premium resellers like the iStore and Imagine Store are currently selling the iPhone 4S for around $880.
According to some analysts, the launch of Apple retail stores in India should mean a reduction to the price of Apple goods.