Apple Confirms Online Store to Open in India This Year, Retail Store in 2021

Apple has long been trying to make a significant impact on the Indian smartphone market. The company had been in talks with the Indian government to open its first wholly-owned retail stores in the country. Now, we have a clearer timeline.

During the company’s annual shareholders meeting at Steve Jobs Theatre, Apple CEO Tim Cook answered some critical questions regarding the removal of VPN apps from its App Store in China, Apple TV+, slow iPadOS development, and health projects. However, one thing that stood out from the meeting was the information on the timeframe of Apple Store’s launch in India.

According to Tim Cook, Apple will first launch its online store in India, and it will happen sometime later this year. This will give the company a clearer idea of how to proceed in the Indian market, which is extremely price-sensitive. Sometime next year, the iPhone maker will launch its first retail store in the country.

Tim Cook also mentioned during the meeting that the company had to seek special approval for its retail store as the Indian government wanted Apple to work with a local retail partner. However, the Cupertino-based tech giant wanted to do things its own way and not rely on a partner. Apple CEO said, “We wouldn’t be a very good partner in retail. We like to do things our way.

Apple was also asked about the Coronavirus outbreak, but the company didn’t answer about its effects on the business or upcoming launch events. Tim Cook said that the company’s “first priority is the health and safety of employees and partners and the communities we’re in,” and that the situation is fairly dynamic and a challenge for Apple.

With relation to the Pensacola shooting case and whether Apple should hand over information from the shooter’s iPhone, Tim Cook said that devices shouldn’t have backdoors, be it for the company or the government. An investor asked why Apple TV+ didn’t acquire the rights for Friends Reunion, which is coming to HBO Max. Apple CEO said that its video streaming service is all about original programming and that it doesn’t feel right for it to have a rerun of an older TV show.

Concerning the iPadOS, one of the shareholders asked why Apple’s tablet operating system is lagging when compared to the iPad’s hardware. The company’s software chief Craig Federighi chipped in with an answer and mentioned that the company is working to bring more exciting features later this year.

[Via Twitter]