Update: Apple opened the new online store today. You can check it out here.
Apple will officially launch its Apple Online Store in India on September 23, finally bringing Apple’s online delivery experience to the world’s second most populous nation.
“We’re proud to be expanding in India and want to do all we can to support our customers and their communities,” said Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail + People in a statement. “We know our users are relying on technology to stay connected, engage in learning, and tap into their creativity, and by bringing the Apple Store online to India, we are offering our customers the very best of Apple at this important time.”
The new store will offer the standard Apple online experience, complete with financing and trade-in programs. It will feature both English and Hindi language options. A recent Bloomberg report noted that Apple was keen to open the store in India in time for the country’s festive season. The Dussehra through Diwali holiday season commences October 25 and runs through November 14.
To coincide with the festive season, Apple is offering signature gift wrapping and personalized engraving on products. Apple will engrave products in a range of languages including English, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu.
In a press release announcing the new India store opening, Apple also notes that: “In October, customers can expect free online Today at Apple sessions led by local Creative Pros, focused on photography and music.”
Expanding its focus on India
The Apple Online Store is the latest step in Apple increasing its retail focus on India. The company is also reported to be opening its first brick-and-mortar Apple Store in India during 2020. This will be located in Mumbai. Apple will reportedly open a second store in technology hub Bangalore.
Apple manufacturers are also producing more and more handsets in India, targeted at the local market. It is reportedly manufacturing its 2020 iPhone SE and iPhone 11 in India, made by Foxconn and Wistron. Another Apple assembler, Pegatron, is also planning to set up shop in India.
History of Apple Online Store
Apple opened its first online retail store in November 1997 in the United States. It was an immediate success, pulling in more than $12 million in its first month. The legend behind it is pretty great. In the 1990s, Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell famously said that, if he was running Apple, he would shut it down and return the money to shareholders. Jobs responded to Dell during an Apple keynote, saying, “We’re coming after you, buddy!”
At the time, Dell was considered an innovator for its online sales approach to computers. It seems the comments rubbed Jobs up the wrong way (kind of understandably, to be honest!). This prompted him to want to outdo Dell with his own online retail experience. The rest, as they say, is history.