Tech Experts Welcome Apple's Move to Open Its First Retail Store in Mumbai, India
The Cupertino-based tech giant's first official store will be in Mumbai's Jio World Drive mall, located at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC). Highlights Apple's s first official store will be in Mumbai's Jio World Drive mall. The creative for the store features a bright welcome to people passing by with the classic Apple greeting, "Hello Mumbai". Apple-owned flagship stores are a crucial pillar in Apple India’s playbook.
Apple on Wednesday finally lifted the curtains off its much-awaited own branded retail store in India. The Cupertino-based tech giant's first official store will be in Mumbai's Jio World Drive mall, located at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC). The Apple store is inspired by the iconic Kaali Peeli taxi art that is unique to Mumbai and the creative for the store features a bright welcome to people passing by with the classic Apple greeting, "Hello Mumbai".
"Inspired by the iconic Kaali Peeli taxi art unique to Mumbai, the Apple BKC creative includes colourful interpretations of the decals combined with many Apple products and services that will be available for our customers to discover," the company said in a statement.
According to industry experts, Apple-owned flagship stores are a crucial pillar in Apple India's playbook to win in a strategic growth market. The premium smartphone segment in India continues to be immune to macroeconomic pressures and has been growing in double digits. Offline retail continues to be key in a large, diverse market like India, where consumers love to touch, feel and explore the products.
"Apple would seek to replicate the famed Apple retail experience including, overall consumer experience, staff knowledge and expertise, and service standards, amongst others - in India, and steer greater market growth in the years ahead. In the recent past, Apple has enjoyed an unprecedented growth momentum in India, including an increased share of domestic manufacturing, aggressive marketing and affordability initiatives, and the success of the Apple India Online store," Prabhu Ram, Head- the Industry Intelligence Group at CMR told swarajya media .
As per according to Counterpoint Research, 'Make in India' shipments from Apple grew 65 percent (on-year) by volume and 162 percent by value, taking the brand's value share to 25 percent in 2022, up from 12 percent in 2021, a new report has shown. The contribution of exports in 'Make in India' smartphone shipments reached the highest ever in 2022 both in volume (20 percent) and value terms (30 percent). Overall, 'Make in India' smartphone shipments declined 3 percent YoY in 2022 (January-December) to reach 188 million unitsThe major factor behind this decline was the softening of consumer demand due to macroeconomic headwinds, especially in the second half of the year.
"I think the branded stores will further strengthen the overall experience of being in an Apple ecosystem. Apple will be able to control the end-to-end user experience and this will further take its brand image to one level up. We have seen many stories worldwide of consumers sharing positive purchase experiences from Apple-branded stores and India will be no different. As per Counterpoint research city-level tracker- Mumbai contributed to 10 percent of the iPhone sales and the second largest for Apple ( After Delhi)," Tarun Pathak, Research Director, Devices and Ecosystems at Counterpoint Research mentioned.
Apple sold 2 million iPhones in India in the holiday quarter (Q4) of 2022, registering 18 percent growth (quarter-on-quarter) for its flagship device. The Indian market share of iPhones reached 5.5 percent for 2022, an 11 percent growth (year-on-year) and with the offline presence, the overall presence of Apple in India will go up.
"While Apple has taken time to open its store in India, it makes sense now more than ever. The Indian consumer is maturing and spending more, especially at the premium end which makes India the next big growth market in the next decade for Apple across product and service categories," said Navkendar Singh, Associate Vice President with IDC India.
Apple is also reportedly planning to pluck India out of the existing consolidation including Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and India and make it a separate sales region to increase its focus on the South Asian country that has emerged as a top alternative to China. The surge in the iPhone demand in India has likely encouraged Apple to reshuffle its international sales operations to make India as prominent as China. In addition, the company is looking forward to expanding its offline presence too in the country.
"The smartphone industry is poised to see a new wave in retail for which brands are proactively preparing to show up their presence. At the same time, the Apple moment has arrived in India owing to its continuous growth momentum in the past few years. The Apple Mumbai store intersects these two trends indicating where the future is heading,"