Apple plans to open 500 stores in India
Despite the fact that in the past Apple have deemed the Indian market a low priority – especially when compared with China for instance – the brand is now intending to open 500 new stores there. A source told Times of India that this is part of a new strategy to move Apple into 2 and 3 tier cities “All this will change now. The company is finalising plans to become a serious player in India, which is being seen as a strategic and one of the most promising markets globally".
It is difficult to predict the success of the electronics giant in India, due to their expensive – in comparison to other brands – products, and the market there, which favours cheaper items. The iPhone 4 for example, was only a hit in India after its price was cost was cut. Currently Apple only have a 5 per cent share in the Indian phone market, and less than a 10 per cent share in the tablet sector – much less than rivals Samsung and Micromax.
Allegedly the Apple stores are to be smaller in size than is standard, ranging between 300-600 square feet compared to the current 2,000 square feet branches. It certainly displays a change in attitude for the company, in 2012 chief executive Tim Cook expressed his love for India but did not perceive a high level of business opportunities there:
"I love India, but I believe Apple has some higher potential in the intermediate term in some other countries. This doesn't mean we're not putting emphasis in India. We have a business there and it's growing but my own perspective is that in the intermediate term there will be larger opportunities outside (the country)”.