A new report says that Apple’s first flagship store in India has been delayed yet again because of the pandemic.
According to a new report, Apple’s first India store in Mumbai has had its launch date pushed to next year “attributed in part to pandemic-related issues such as interior fitting and other supplies getting delayed due to the squeeze in shipping.”
As reported by Economic Times, the store is set to be a 22,000 sq ft unit in Mumbai’s Jio World Drive Mall and is tipped as a “retail landmark” in India.
Apple CEO Tim Cook announced in 2019 that Apple was planning to open its first store in the country in 2020, however, due to COVID-19 delays that was pushed back. In the meantime, Apple has opened its online store in the country, giving customers the chance to buy items like its best iPhone, the iPhone 13, its iPads, Macs, and Apple Watch models directly from Apple. Apple is also planning to open a store in Delhi and has been actively recruiting for employees for both.
According to this week’s report, Apple will now open its store in Q1 of 2023, January-March. It also states that Apple is negotiating for more retail space in both Delhi and Mumbai “and other cities.”
The best physical presence Apple has in India is premium reseller Unicorn, which announced in 2021 that it plans to oven 4-6 new stores in the country.
With a 2023 launch on the cards, it means Apple definitely won’t have a store open in the country in time for any of its fall products. The company expected to unveil a new iPhone 14 in September alongside three new Apple Watch models, plus new Macs and iPads.
Compared to retail, Apple has had much more success onshoring its manufacturing operations in India in recent years thanks to generous government subsidies. The company now makes devices including the iPhone SE and iPhone 12 in the country for both local markets and export.