Apple likely to begin online sales in India starting October 2020
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Apple's India still relies on third-party retail outlets and e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart to sell products in India. Bloomberg's report suggests that it is set to change as early as next month, as the company will start selling products to customers directly via its website. That should help cement Apple's position in the high-end smartphone segment, which is currently dominated by the likes of Samsung and OnePlus.
Another report from earlier this year suggested that India would get its first physical Apple Store in 2021. That continues to remain a pipe dream, though, as Apple is yet to acknowledge it publicly. While a physical store and direct to consumer sales will undoubtedly make the Apple experience better for many people, prohibitively high prices will continue to remain a problem. For example, the recently-released iPhone SE 2020 had launched in India for INR 42,500 (US$572)- a full US$173 more than its retail cost of US$399. In this case, the culprit is a myriad of taxes that drive up the price of electronic components by as much as 33%.
Apple already makes some iPhone 11 and iPhone SE 2020 units in India. The upcoming iPhone 12 lineup is billed to join them in the not too distant future. Local manufacturing will allow Apple to bypass some of the aforementioned duties, and one can only hope that the savings are passed on to the customer.