India is set to open its first Apple stores this week, confirming CEO Tim Cook’s commitment to putting the country front and center of the company’s plans.
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Apple will open its first outlet in India in Mumbai on 18 April and a second one in Delhi on 20 April called Apple BKC and Apple Saket respectively. The company’s commitment remains so strong that Cook plans to attend the opening in person, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
“These new outlets mark a significant expansion in India that will offer great new ways to browse, discover and buy Apple products with exceptional customer service and experience,” the company said in a press release released April 10.
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Apple BKC will kick off with a series of events called “Mumbai Rising” that will run from opening day through the summer. The event will bring artists and creatives together in “hands-on labs with Apple products and services.”
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The events will include photography and video sessions to help attendees learn how to get the most out of iPhone apps and hardware to get the most out of their products.
There will also be tutorials on music production, game design, and art direction, as well as tutorials on how to use other Apple products such as the Apple Watch and iPad.
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Cook said he was “bullish” on India during an earnings call in early February, while Apple announced plans to grow its global footprint, which already stands at 2 billion people, according to Foreign Policy.
“India is a very interesting market for us and is at the center of our attention,” said Cook. “We basically take what we learned in China years ago and how we scale to China and apply it.”
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The company not only wants to make India a major new market for Apple products, but also a center of productivity. India already accounts for 7% of iPhones made for the US company, marking a shift for Apple as it seeks to reduce its reliance on manufacturing in China.
Apple has been heavily dependent on China for more than a decade, but the combination of China becoming the U.S.’s newest bogeyman and the ongoing fallout from supply chain issues caused by China’s zero-COVID policy has made the relationship difficult to sustain.
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Instead, Apple will turn to India, the world’s fifth largest economy. India has many of the same qualities in terms of technological literacy and industrial capacity that have made China so attractive for so long.
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But companies can wait to see how Apple performs before entering the market. Darrell West, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Center for Technological Innovation, told Foreign Policy that Apple is “better weather.”
As of press time, Apple has not responded to FOX Business’s request for comment.