The prospect of Apple Stores in India just got a whole lot better

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India iPhone sales
Apple is focused on the Indian market.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple may become one of the first foreign companies granted a permit to open a retail store in India without sourcing 30 percent of its products from inside the country.

While this rule has previously proven to be a hurdle for foreign brands, in Apple’s case the Indian government appears likely to overlook it on the grounds that Apple is a “state-of-the-art” company manufacturing “cutting-edge technology.”

The permit decision follows an Apple presentation on Tuesday this week, in front of a committee headed up by industrial policy and promotion secretary Ramesh Abhishek. A final announcement is expected to be made in the next few days.

While Apple has been selling its products in India for some time, previously it did so exclusively through premium resellers operating on a franchise model. But last month we noted that Apple is hoping to open a series of brick-and-mortar retail stores in India — including a major flagship store with a design reminiscent of the iconic Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York.

Given the size of the potential Indian market it’s no surprise that Apple would look to open Apple Stores in the country — particularly as it runs into a growing number of problems with the Chinese government.

While relations with India have typically proven slightly easier, Apple has had a few issues there as well. Recently a group representing local manufacturing interests (and including distinctly non-Indian company Samsung) petitioned to stop Apple from importing refurbished iPhones to sell in the country.

There have, however, been reports that iPhone manufacturers including Foxconn and Pegatron may open factories in the country, which might make Apple’s retail plans in India somewhat easier. Apple has also announced plans to invest $25 million in a new office complex in India — which will bring approximately 4,500 jobs during the construction process.

Source: Times of India