It has been seven years since Apple CEO Tim Cook last visited India. Cook visited the country in 2016, the year iPhone 7 series was launched. But now, that is set to change as reports have revealed that the Apple CEO will visit India again next week to inaugurate the country’s first-ever Apple stores in Mumbai and Delhi. The visit also comes at a time when Apple is aiming to capture a greater share of the Indian market and bolster its expansion plans into the nation as an alternative to China.
The information comes from a Bloomberg report which stated that Cook has scheduled a trip to India next week. He will first be visiting Mumbai during his trip to inaugurate the Apple Store BKC, Mumbai on April 18 and he is likely to visit the Delhi Apple Store in Saket which is set to open on April 20. Some reports have also claimed that the Apple CEO might meet PM Narendra Modi between the two stores’ inauguration.
The two Apple stores in the country will be the first to be designed and maintained by Apple itself, unlike other Apple-exclusive stores. Apart from selling products, these stores will also be used as experience centers as well as to educate users on new products and features launched by the company. Additionally, consumers will also be able to order a product online and then collect it directly from these stores.
Cook’s India trip can also be underlined by the current strained relationship between the USA and China and Apple’s desire to reduce its reliance on the latter. With India being the second largest smartphone market in the world, Apple looks to be aiming to capture a bigger share of the pie. It has already built and begun operating multiple iPhone assembly units and has stated that it wants to manufacture more devices in the country with an intention of selling them domestically as well as exporting them to other markets.
Tim Cook highlighted the importance of the Indian market during an earnings call. He said, “India is a hugely exciting market for us and a major focus. I’m very bullish on India”.
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