First Indian Apple store will open in Mumbai mall

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Apple's first Indian Apple Store will be located in Mumbai mall
Apple will no longer have to make do with selling through resellers.
Photo: Lawrence Sinclair/Flickr CC

Apple has reportedly selected the location for its first Apple Store in India. The store will be located in Maker Maxity mall in Mumbai, India’s most populous city with a population of around 18 million.

Cupertino is aiming for a September 2020 opening for the Mumbai Apple store. That’s around the time Apple should release the next-gen iPhone.

According to The Economic Times, Apple already signed a lease for the location. The Mumbai Apple store  occupies between 20,000 and 25,000 square feet, divided across three floors. One floor will be an “experience center.” A second will be for retail, and the third for a service center.

“Fitouts have started,” one source told the newspaper about the Mumbai Apple store. Apple is reportedly importing fixtures and furniture for the retail outlet. Construction is estimated to take between eight months and a year.

Dreams of a Mumbai Apple Store

Cupertino has wanted to open an official Apple store in India for years. Currently, it has to sell through third-party resellers. The Mumbai flagship store will be around three times larger than the current biggest franchisee. Also located in Mumbai, that store measures “just” 8,000 square feet.

Until now, Indian laws about local sourcing of products stopped Apple from opening its own stores in the country. Companies wanting to do this must source 30% of products locally. Apple previously did not fall into this category.

In August, India changed the rules for single brand license holders to also include exports and contract manufacturing over a five-year period to be counted in the mandatory 30% local sourcing requirements. This meant Apple could include the growing number of iPhones built in India.

“We love our customers in India and we’re eager to serve them online and in-store with the same experience and care that Apple customers around the world enjoy,” Apple said in August. “We appreciate the support and hard work by Prime Minister Modi and his team to make this possible and we look forward to one day welcoming customers to India’s first Apple retail store. It will take us some time to get our plans underway and we’ll have more to announce at a future date.”

A boost for Apple in India?

It will be interesting to see if Apple retail stores can grow the company’s sales in India. Although people bought more than 140 million smartphones in India last year, just 1.7 million of them were iPhones.

To turn this around, Apple slashed prices of iPhones in India. It also hired the former chief customer operations officer of Nokia Networks to head up its India operations.