Apple could finally begin direct iPhone sales in India this fall

By

iPhone XS in India
Right now, buying an iPhone in India requires going through a third-party retailer. Not for much longer, though.
Photo: Apple

Apple may have finally succeeded in its long, long quest to be allowed to sell its products directly in India. Until now, the company has been forced to go through third-party resellers, but the Indian government today changed the rule that was hobbling Apple.

Being able to deal directly with the public might increase Apple’s poor sales of iPhones in this huge market.

Indian rule change opens the door for Apple

India puts stringent requirements on companies who want to open retail stores: at least 30% of the products to be sold must be produced in that country. Apple has never been able to meet that goal.

However, the Indian government lowered the target amount by allowing companies to factor in other products produced locally but made for export. Apple recently began ramping up iPhone production in India; some of the devices manufactured there will be exported to Europe, and other sold locally.

This change is enough that Apple will start online sales of iPhones in India in a few months, according to an unconfirmed report from Bloomberg.

This will be followed by the company opening retail stores. Apple has been trying and failing to get permission to open official Apple Stores in this country for years, including CEO Tim Cook meeting with India’s Prime Minister about it.

iPhone sales currently make up just a small percentage of the Indian total, but there’s cause for optimism. “Apple has 1% share of India smartphone market in Q2 2019 with 22% YoY growth,”Anshika Jain, an analyst at Counterpoint Research, told Cult of Mac.