Global tech giant Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has reportedly scheduled a trip to open the company's first Apple store in India next week.
Cook is likely to preside over the opening of the twin outlets in Mumbai and New Delhi, sources said, asking to remain anonymous. Apple announced yesterday it will be opening a store in Mumbai on April 18 and another in New Delhi on April 20.
The trip comes seven years after the CEO's maiden visit in 2016 and coincides with the world's most valuable company hitting important markers: India sales of iPhones reaching an all-time high. Apple is betting on India to diversify its assembly operations beyond China amid strained Beijing-Washington relations, according to reports.
Cook is set to open Apple's first India store inside an upscale mall in Mumbai's Bandra Kurla Complex, or BKC as the neighbourhood is called. A few days after that, he is set to unlock the doors of the New Delhi store in the Select Citywalk Mall in Saket.
The two stores have been a long time in the making as India's strict rules forbid global brands from opening own-brand outlets unless they source a significant portion of the goods from within the country.
The company opened its Indian online store in 2020. The country is the world's second-largest smartphone market and among the fastest-growing, but Apple's relatively high sticker prices are still a deterrent in the nation of 1.4 billion where affordability plays a major role in purchase decisions.
In between the two store inaugurals, Apple has also sought a meeting for Cook with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an unconfirmed source said. PM Modi's government has been pushing for electronics manufacturing and has offered billions of dollars in incentives to attract Apple's manufacturing partners like Foxconn Technology Group and Pegatron Corp.