The much-awaited Apple India online store is finally going Live tomorrow, September 23. This launch of the Apple online store for India comes just in time for the festive shopping spree usually seen around the Dussehra and Diwali festivals. This will be Apple’s first direct retail presence in the country, at a time when the company is pushing for more Make in India initiatives, particularly for the iPhone line-up. The Apple online store for India will now join Apple’s ecommerce platforms in 37 other countries, including the US and UK. Till now, Apple relied on authorized distributors and retailers in India for offline sales as well as on online shopping platforms such as Amazon.in and Flipkart. Apple will offer trade-in for your existing iPhones as well as other smartphones when you buy a new Apple iPhone from the Apple India online store.
The Apple online store for India will sell the company’s complete range of products, which includes the iPhone line-up, the Mac computing device line-up, the iPad series, Apple Watch, Apple AirPods family, HomePod smart speaker and more. Just as Apple’s experiential standardization at all its online and offline stores around the world, the India store will also have the same premium experience that Apple stores deliver in other countries. There will be localizations as well, which include Shopping Assistance that includes the ability to connect with Apple Specialists, in English and Hindi languages. These specialists will be able to help with support and pre-purchase guidance.
Apple’s complete line-up of iPhones, which include the latest generation Apple iPhone SE, Apple iPhone 11, Apple iPhone 11 Pro, Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max and the Apple iPhone XR will be on sale. It is expected that all variants as well as colour options will be available to order. Apple will also offer a trade-in option which will allow you to exchange your existing iPhone or any other smartphone and get an instant discount quote on the purchase of your new iPhone—the amount will be adjusted in the final bill that you need to pay. “We’re proud to be expanding in India and want to do all we can to support our customers and their communities. We know our users are relying on technology to stay connected, engage in learning, and tap into their creativity, and by bringing the Apple Store online to India, we are offering our customers the very best of Apple at this important time,” says Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail + People.
Alongside the Apple India online store will be the new Education Store, which will offer special discounts and pricing for the iPhone, iPad, Mac and other Apple products to teachers and students. There will also be special pricing for the accessories and the Apple Care+ extended warranty packages. This is something that Apple has on offer in many countries, and also offered it in India with the authorized distributors and retailers.
Apple says that there will be a wide range of payment and financing options which will be available to customers. EMI options for credit and debit cards, digital payment on delivery and RuPay cards will be accepted as payment methods. At this time, Apple is not offering cash on delivery (COD) as a payment option because of the contactless delivery requirements due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. RuPay is a domestic card payment service launched by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and plays a critical part in the government’s push for digital transactions in the country.
All orders placed on the Apple India online store will be shipped with contactless delivery as the standard option—and delivers will be available across India. Orders will not require a signature to confirm receipt of delivery. Apple is partnering with Blue Dart for product shipment and expects all deliveries for orders to be completed between 24 hours and 72 hours from the time of payment.
Anyone purchasing an iMac 25-inch, iMac 27-inch, iMac Pro, Mac Pro, Mac Mini, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 13 or the MacBook Pro 16 will also be able to take advantage of the Configure to Order option, which will allow you to pick and add upgrades for specifications such as processor, RAM, storage and graphics.
Ahead of the festive season, Apple will also offer gifting options as well as the ability to engrave text or emojis on Apple AirPods, Apple iPad and the Apple Pencil. Initially, engraving will be available in English as well as 7 Indian languages such as Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu for the Apple AirPods, and English for the Apple iPad and Apple Pencil.
Since the experience at a physical Apple retailer isn’t exactly an option for many potential and new customers right now, Apple will be sharing invites with those who make a purchase via the Apple India online store for a post-delivery session with an Apple Specialist who can help with setting up the product as well as provide tips which can also be tailored specific to your requirements.
At this time, the Apple India online store will not be selling gadgets and accessories from third-party brands.
It was in August last year that the Government of India had made changes to the foreign direct investment (FDI) rules which earlier required companies including Apple to source 30% of the value of goods purchased locally. That definition was widened to count all procurements made from India by a single brand retail trade entity, towards local sourcing. The new guidelines also removed the requirement for companies to first set up a physical retail presence in the country.
Over the past few weeks, Apple has given the government’s Make in India initiative a big boost by starting production of the latest generation iPhone SE as well as the flagship phones, the Apple iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max in India. Apple also produces the iPhone XR in India. Apple’s partners in India, Foxconn and Wistron are now manufacturing and assembling the iPhones at their facilities in the country. The push for localized manufacturing and assembling, as well as the online retail presence, should combine to give Apple a big boost ahead of the festive season sales.