Apple has filed an application with India’s department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) to build and operate its own retail stores in the populous country, India Times reported Wednesday.
Apple is also seeking to sell its products online in India. The official move is the culmination of Apple’s multi-year effort to bring the official retail presence to shoppers in the 1.25 billion people market.
“We have just received Apple’s proposal,” said DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant. “We are examining it.”
The reason Apple hasn’t made this move before lies in the fact that the government has only recently relaxed its stringent rules guiding foreign direct investment. Previously, technology companies like Apple had to cut deals with single-brand license holders to sell their products in India.
In addition, foreign companies were required to source 30 percent of their products within the country and were prohibited from setting up web stores.
Apple currently sells its products in India via a network of franchisee-owned stores, including carrier-owned stores. According to India Times, Apple’s sales in the country topped $1 billion for the first time in the year ended March 2015.
Source: India Times