CEO Tim Cook of Apple said the company would open its first physical stores in India in 2021 and an online outlet later this year. Apple had to obtain the Indian government’s special approval to open a store without a local partner.
The announcement came at the annual meeting of the company’s shareholders. At the meeting investors also voted on a suggestion that the company should adjust how it reacts when governments ask it to withdraw applications from its marketplace.
Though the measure has not been accepted, it has failed in the past with a slimmer margin than similar initiatives.
Apple’s push into India, the world’s second largest smartphone market, has been planned for some time, but it was new to announce a date.
In 2018 India changed the laws banning foreign brands from opening the country’s single-brand shops. Nevertheless, Mr Cook said India wanted Apple with a local partner to open its store.
Mr Cook told investors that he did not believe that Apple would be a “good partner”
“We like the way we do things,” he said.
Apple currently sells its goods in India through third-party stores. But rivals Samsung and Huawei lag behind in their sales.
Despite demand for Apple products growing in China-even before the Coronavirus outbreak-the company hopes it can spur growth in other developing markets such as India.