Ending months of speculation, Apple is launching its first exclusive branded online store in India September 23 just ahead of the festive season there, offering a full range of products, support and premium experience to consumers and the large aspirational fan base across the country.
For logistics support, Apple has partnered with Blue Dart to be its on-ground fulfilment partner.
Given the current pandemic situation, customers can expect contactless deliveries in 24-72 hours from the date of purchase of all premium and new products, including the ones (Apple Watch Series 6 and new iPad Air) launched earlier this week.
“We are super excited to bring Apple Store Online to India,” Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail + People, told IANS.
“We love the passion Indians have for our products and supporting them has been our passion too. The Online Store will ensure seamless, safe and contactless delivery of our products in these Covid times as safety of staff and customers is our topmost priority.”
The Apple India store, the 38th online store worldwide, would have specialists to lend expert advice and support to the Indian customers.
From learning more about product features to setting up new devices, customers can receive guidance directly from Apple, including online support in English and phone support in Hindi and English.
Those who buy Apple products will be eligible for a 30-minute, one-on-one online session with a trained executive to explore more about the device, set it up and or solve any other query.
The online store also provides the ability to custom-configure any Mac with just a few clicks.
With financing options and available trade-in program, the Apple Store Online offers a range of affordability options.
Students can shop for a Mac or iPad with special pricing, and receive discounts on accessories and Apple Care+ that extends warranty with up to two years of technical support and accidental damage cover.
Apple currently has third-party reseller outlets and online channels to sell its devices in the country and its own branded online store will certainly help the company in giving a controlled experience of its devices and services.
Welcoming the Narendra Modi cabinet’s decision to ease the 30 percent local sourcing norm in single-brand retail in August last year, Apple said it looks forward to welcoming customers at its first retail store in India soon.
“We love our customers in India and we’re eager to serve them online and in-store with the same experience and care that Apple customers around the world enjoy,” Apple said.
Apple, which has already started manufacturing certain iPhone models in India, has reportedly selected locations for its exclusive retail stores in the country as well.
Apple currently has over 500 physical retail stores worldwide, with the world’s first floating retail store at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
On its online India store, customers can expect free online ‘Today at Apple’ sessions led by local creative professionals, focused on photography and music in October.
Just in time for the festive season, signature gift wrap and personalized engraving will be available for select products.
Engraving of emojis or text in English, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu will be available for AirPods, and English engraving will be available for iPad and Apple Pencil.
For the health and well-being of Apple’s teams, customers, and communities, all orders from the Apple Store Online will ship with contactless delivery.
Orders that do not require a signature will be left at the customer’s door, and those that do will need only a verbal confirmation from a safe distance instead of a written signature.
Apple has been operating in India for more than 20 years, and the company’s ongoing investment and innovation support almost 900,000 jobs across the country.