A New Rumor Rehashes the Hope for a Flagship Apple Store in India to Reinforce it's Premium Image that's been Damaged
In February we posted a report titled "The Lack of Flagship Apple Stores in India is Damaging Apple's Premium Brand." Our report noted that Apple's negotiations with the Indian government had been ongoing since 2012 and yet not a single Flagship Apple Store has been given the green light even though rivals like Xiaomi already have dozens of stores in India and likely to hit one hundred stores sometime this year.
In 2017 there was news that Apple was working on a massive Apple Flagship store with 10,000 to 15,000 square feet or double the size of other Apple Flagship stores and open in 2020 or 2021 if everything stayed on track. The design would reportedly make the Apple Store a must-see tourist attraction. The lack of news on this development since that time has been a little disappointing.
Today it's being reported by Bloomberg that Apple has "zeroed in on several upscale sites in Mumbai, and plans to make a final decision in the next few weeks, said the people, asking not to be named because the discussions are private. The vetted spots are comparable to iconic Apple locations on Fifth Avenue in New York, Regent Street in London or the Champs-Elysees in Paris," as our 2017 report had first outlined.
The report further notes that "Apple appears to be doing the difficult -- and expensive -- work of building a foundation for its business. Foxconn Technology Group, its most important manufacturing partner, is running quality tests for the iPhone Xr series in India and plans to begin mass production at a facility in the suburbs of Chennai. Older models are already assembled at a Wistron plant in Bangalore. The increase in local operations should expedite approval for a company-owned store when a new government takes over in India at the end of May or early June."
Rushabh Doshi, an analyst with Canalys stated for the report that "Its own retail store might be just what Apple requires to reinforce its premium image. A store just before the next launch will be the perfect timing for Apple to restart its Indian growth story."
Doshi's timing of Apple's first flagship store is certainly over optimistic. For more on this, read the full Bloomberg report here.
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