Tim Cook opens first Apple Store in India in financial centre Mumbai as firm seeks to expand sales and manufacturing
Apple chief executive Tim Cook opened the company’s first Apple Store in India on Tuesday, in the financial centre of Mumbai, as the firm ramps up its presence in the world’s second-biggest smartphone market.
Dressed in gray trousers, a blue shirt and sneakers, Cook hugged the first customers to enter the store and posed for selfies with them.
Dozens of staff dressed in green T-shirts chanted “BKC! BKC!”, a reference to the upscale Bandra-Kurla Complex business district where the store is located.
The premises feature decorations inspired by Mumbai’s distinctive black-and-yellow taxis.
Reports said people from across India came to Mumbai to participate in the event, which featured local music and folk dance performances.
The firm has been trying to open its own outlets in India for years, but had a list of government requirements to meet – including sourcing more of its raw materials domestically.
The Covid-19 pandemic also pushed back a store opening initially planned for 2021.
Apple products were previously available in the country online or through a large network of resellers.
The stores – a second of which Cook is to open in the capital Delhi on Thursday – are part of a bet that the firm can increase its sales in the country by tapping into its growing middle class.
Currently Apple accounts for only 4 percent of the 700 million-user market, which is dominated by domestic, Chinese and South Korean manufacturers using the Android platform.
The company’s sales in India hit a new high of $6 billion (£4.8bn) in India for the year through March.
Apple is also expanding its manufacturing in the country as it seeks to diversify away from China amidst increasing political tensions.
The company tripled its production to more than $7bn of iPhones in India last fiscal year, or 5 percent of worldwide iPhone production.