Apple has been trying — and failing — to set up its own retail stores in India for several years now, with the company currently selling its products via resellers like Aptronix. However, it looks like that's finally set to change, as a new report in Bloomberg states Apple is finalizing a list of locations for its first retail store in the country.
Apple is reportedly zeroing in on "several upscale sites" in Mumbai, with the company set to make a final decision in the coming weeks:
The iPhone giant has zeroed in on several upscale sites in Mumbai, and plans to make a final decision in the next few weeks, said the people, asking not to be named because the discussions are private. The vetted spots are comparable to iconic Apple locations on Fifth Avenue in New York, Regent Street in London or the Champs-Elysees in Paris, they said.
Apple has been prohibited from opening its own stores in the country because it doesn't meet local sourcing requirements, but it's shifting manufacturing into India and is in talks with the government about its retail expansion.
India's regulations prohibit brands from setting up single-brand retail stores unless that brand meets the country's local sourcing norms. With Apple importing iPhones into the country until earlier this year, the company didn't qualify for a license to set up its own retail store network. But the government has signed off on new deals in recent months, allowing both Wistron and Foxconn to set up new facilities in India to manufacture the latest iPhones.
Apple has also slashed the prices of the iPhone XR in India, making the device that much more enticing. In fact, Tim Cook said during the Q2 earnings call that the price correction was starting to deliver "better results". A retail chain network would further Apple's momentum in India, a market where it has lagged considerably behind Samsung and even Huawei for several years.