Science & Technology

‘Namaste’: Apple’s first online store opens in India

New Delhi, Sep 23 (efe-epa).- Apple opened its first online store in India on Wednesday, offering a full range of gadgets and support to customers in the run-up to the festive season during which retail sales are expected to pick pace in the country after a decline in demand due to the pandemic.

Indian customers will now get access to the direct purchase of Apple products from the virtual store that opens with a landing header of the American giant’s logo emblazoned in a myriad of colorful floral motifs – a source of Indian artistic inspiration for centuries.

The landing page welcomes its visitors with “namaste”, the traditional Indian way of greeting.

Until now, the company sold its products in India through authorized third-party sellers in brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart.

In addition to its gadgets, customers can get advice, receive guidance, and learn about new products directly from Apple experts, both in English and Hindi.

The website also includes an exchange service that will allow customers to replace any eligible smartphone for credit to buy a new iPhone.

The participants will have to answer questions to earn redeemable points for a discount of up to 35,000 Indian rupees (about $475) on the purchase of an iPhone.

The launch of the online store comes as just ahead of the annual festive season, which typically generates significant sales annually for major religious and social festivals.

Purchases on e-commerce pages have witnessed a spike due to Covid-19 in India, the second worst-affected country with more than 5.66 million infections and over 90,000 deaths.

Retail trade in India has suffered massive business losses due to coronavirus restrictions.

According to the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), the losses until June ending amounted to nearly 16 trillion Indian rupees ($220 billion).

Apple has operated in India for 20 years. Its investments have supported almost 900,000 jobs across the country, according to the tech giant.

Its design and development accelerator in the south Indian city of Bengaluru, also called Silicon Valley of India, has supported thousands of local developers.

Apple is not among the five most-popular smartphone companies in the country due to the high prices of its gadgets and has only about 2 percent market share in the Indian market right now.

But it dominates the premium sector, where Apple had a market share of 48.8 percent in the second quarter of 2020, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC). EFE-EPA


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