While staff applauded, Apple CEO Tim Cook personally opened the doors to greet customers.
Many of the hundreds of fans who lined up overnight outside the store in Mumbai’s upscale mall were Mumbai’s financial elite.
With a second store set to open in the nation’s capital Delhi on Thursday, the California-based company is placing a large bet on the 1.4 billion-person country, which has the second-highest percentage of smartphone users in the world, after China.
The largest corporation in the world by market value is also increasing its manufacturing presence in India as it attempts to diversify its supply chain and reduce its reliance on China’s neighbor.
In a statement on Monday, Apple referred to the outlets as a “significant expansion” of its presence in India.
Cook stated in the release, “We’re eager to expand on our long history.
Due to pandemic delays, earlier investment restrictions that have subsequently been loosened, which mandated that foreign merchants obtain 30% of their raw supplies locally, and the introduction of Apple’s online store in India in 2020, a physical location has not yet been officially established by the company.
Purav Mehta, a 30-year-old sales and marketing executive, camped out in front of the store the night before it opened and brought his 2013 iPod Touch, which he had not yet opened.
“We’ve been anticipating it… We’ve been waiting for this for a while,” he told AFP.
27-year-old stationery salesman Madhav Mimani traveled from Rajasthan approximately 900 kilometers (560 miles).
“I believe that prices will decrease with Apple production in India since it is local manufacturing, which makes the iPhones affordable,” he stated.
Because of the sentimental significance, it also enhances the likelihood that Indians will purchase iPhones built in India.
More than 600 million people in India use smartphones, with Android devices dominating the market for consumers who are price-sensitive.
According to research firm Canalys, Chinese smartphone manufacturers Xiaomi, vivo, OPPO, and realme held a combined market share of 66 percent in 2022, while Samsung had a 19 percent stake.
Apple’s iPhones compete in the industry’s premium segment and only held a 4% market share in 2017.
But, according to Sanyam Chaurasia, a Canalys analyst, AFP, Apple could profit from the premiumization of the Indian smartphone market and financing schemes for both retailers and consumers.
According to sources cited by Bloomberg News this week, only one percent of Apple’s iPhones were produced in India in 2021, but that number increased to seven percent in 2012.
With the Taiwanese manufacturers Foxconn, Wistron, and Pegatron, the corporation started producing iPhones in India in 2017.
After the chief minister of Karnataka in the south said that iPhones would be made in his state, Foxconn stated in March that its chairman had visited India but that no “definitive agreement” had been reached for investments in the nation.