US’s Apple falls for India: Why it could be bad news for China

By April 20, 2023, Apple would have set up two retail stores in India, indicating its plans to rapidly expand in the country that could be a prime destination to manufacture iPhones.
Mrigakshi Dixit
Newly opened Apple retail store in Mumbai, India.
Newly opened Apple retail store in Mumbai, India.

Apple newsroom 

Apple, the world's leading phone company, has officially opened its first retail store in India, at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai. 

Hundreds of customers were able to tour the Apple Store soon after it opened. “At Apple, our customers are at the center of everything we do, and our teams are excited to celebrate this wonderful moment with them as we open our first retail store in India. Apple BKC is a reflection of Mumbai’s vibrant culture and brings together the best of Apple in a beautiful, welcoming space for connection and community,” Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail, said in a statement.

The burgeoning Apple market in India

Since 2016, Apple, led by Tim Cook, has been focused on market expansion in India. With the arrival of two retail stores, one of which will be launched in Delhi on Thursday, April 20, sales in the country are expected to increase. An online Apple store was also launched in 2020 in India.

As per CNBC, corporate filings indicate that Apple's sales were around $4 billion in fiscal 2022 in India. Reportedly, Apple's sales in India increased by 50 percent over the past year through March 31, reaching nearly $6 billion.

India could also be the prime destination to manufacture iPhones as supply chains shift away from China. Currently, almost all iPhones are assembled in China. According to reports, Apple intends to manufacture 25 percent of its iPhones in India. In fact, Apple began assembling its iPhone 14 in India last year.

The Indian market could benefit greatly from it, particularly because it could make the iPhone more affordable to Indians. At present, Android phones dominate the Indian market. As per Counterpoint Research, Chinese brand Xiaomi dominated the Indian market in terms of shipment units last year, followed by Samsung, Vivo, Realme, and Oppo. 

With the arrival of two stores, and amplifying the production strategy, India offers a burgeoning market for the growth of Apple. At the same time, it will help to boost India's economy.

The most sustainable store in world

The recently opened Apple BKC is also a one-of-kind store in terms of architecture and sustainability. The eye-catching design and "zero reliance" on fossil fuels distinguish this store from the rest. The company has implemented numerous sustainable measures to reduce this outlet's carbon footprint. 

The exterior is made of glass, and the ceiling is made of handcrafted timber blocks.

The timber ceiling stretches past the building's walls, creating a canopy over the store. Apple claims that 1,000 triangular tiles are used for this purpose, with each tile made from 408 pieces of timber. To give the store its unique geometry, nearly 450,000 individual timber elements were assembled in Delhi.  

Furthermore, the outlet has its own solar array for sustainable energy consumption. Additionally, Apple BKC operations are carbon neutral and run completely on renewable energy. “Apple BKC is designed to be one of the most energy-efficient Apple Store locations in the world,” said the press statement. 

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