The first Apple store in India won’t open until 2023. Apple has been trying to open the retail location since 2019, but it’s been beset with delays.
The Mumbai store is supposed to be part of an important shift in the way the company does business in India. Another store in the country is also on the way.
The long struggle to get an Apple Store in India
In 2019, Apple picked Mumbai for its premiere retail store in the South Asian country. At that time, the plan was to open in September 2020. But a few months later, the timing changed to 2021. Then COVID hit and the opening was indefinitely delayed.
The India Times now reports that the first Apple store in India will open its doors in the first three months of 2023. “The reasons are attributed in part to pandemic-related issues such as interior fitting and other supplies getting delayed due to the squeeze in shipping.”
It will be in the Jio World Drive mall. It’s a 22,000 sq. ft. location, with all the features of other “landmark” Apple stores.
The Mumbai opening will be followed by a second location in New Delhi at Select Citywalk mall in Saket. This will be somewhat smaller: 10,000-to-12,000 sq. ft. And Apple is reportedly looking for other retail spaces in other cities.
A change of strategy
For many years, the U.S. company was blocked from selling directly to customers. The Indian government put the restriction in place to force Apple to manufacture more iPhones in India. So Apple had to depend on third-party resellers.
But a deal was worked out and direct online sales of iPhone began in the country in 2020. The wait for a a flagship Apple Store in India goes on, though.