Right now, India’s got the second largest smartphone market around, so if you’re a manufacturer looking to expand your operation, the country’s users are a prime target. And while Apple may be a huge brand over here in the States, so far the company has yet to make a significant impact on Indian smartphone sales, currently only enjoying about a two-percent share of the market. Recently, though, we’ve seen signs that Apple is interested in seriously stepping up its efforts in the nation, including heavily discounting older models and pushing to get its first retail stores opened up. While it’s taken a little longer than we first thought it might, there’s progress in the latter area, as we get word that Apple’s likely to get the regulatory approval it needs to move forward with its retail store plans.
After initial paperwork problems getting its request for retail operations filed correctly, Apple’s now looking in good shape to receive that thumbs-up from the Indian government, and while nothing’s official just yet, sources suggest that the company will indeed receive the authorization it sought out, getting an exemption from certain retail rules due to its status as a company delivering cutting-edge tech.
There’s no rumored timetable for when that approval might arrive, but as soon as it does, expect Apple to start making a big push for the nation’s smartphone-buying public, continuing with those discount prices on older hardware we mentioned.
While that type of sales should fuel Apple’s initial Indian venture, the forthcoming launch of the rumored iPhone 5se, bringing updated hardware with a price that, while still higher than older handsets, should represent a more competitive alternative to last year’s iOS flagships, may help keep margins up while also reaching out to new segments of users.