Apple currently operates a mind boggling 461 stores spanning a respectable 17 countries. While the sheer number of stores and the revenue they produce is impressive, Apple has refrained from any big retail push into the mostly untapped (and massive) India market. That will soon change with Apple announcing a new partnership with the electronics chain Croma.
Under their agreement, Croma will provided spaces of 400-500 square feet for Apple to set up its familiar large wooden tables and other furniture along with many of the amenities you would find in any full size retail store like the one pictured above. This setup is similar to what we have seen Apple offer in BestBuy stores in the US, which are essentially mini Apple Stores complete with Apple trained employees.
You might be wondering why Apple doesn't just build its own retail stores like it usually does. A problem arises due to India's strict "local-sourcing norms" which affect foreign companies from directly investing in retail. While Tim Cook has reportedly been pressuring Indian government officials to ease up on the rules, the partnership with Croma is a good start for the company.
This isn't to say that people haven't been able to buy Apple products in India. Apple has partnerships with many premium retailers and mobile carriers that sell the iPhone. The new stores will give Apple the opportunity to directly showcase its entire portfolio of products, including the Apple Watch. The new stores will reportedly open in time for Diwali, but Apple hasn't provided exact dates.
Source: The Times of India