Apple applied for permission from the Indian government to set up a store that is wholly owned by the Cupertino, California company. The tech giant looks to take advantage of the changing regulations for retail across India.
The attempt by Apple in setting up a presence in direct retail in the Asian country comes at the same time the company is moving to strengthen its presence in an important segment of the market that continues to see a high rate of growth for smartphones.
At this time, iPhones are sold through third-party retailers in India.
Rules in India currently allow for 100% foreign ownership in retail stores known in the country as “single-brand,” if they source a minimum of 30% of the products locally.
However, the government announced recently it would consider on the basis of case-by-case the applications that do not meet the threshold of 30% of local sourcing.
On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Apple confirmed the maker of iPhones, iPads and iPods had filed its application to open up a store. The spokesperson said he could not speak to how many stores the company was looking to open in India.
Apple products are considered premium products by tech buyers in India, even though earlier models of iPhones were sold at low prices to give the market for its different products a boost.
For decades, Apple has not put that much attention into the second most populous country in the world. However, with the majority of smartphone markets becoming saturated, the tech giant has turned to India to grab market share.
Samsung Electronics was the leader in the 2015 third quarter in the smartphone market in India. Trailing the South Korea based electronics giant was Micromax a local vendor. This data is according to online research firm IDC.
Apple did not figure in even the top 5 of the market that is still very price sensitive.
In India, during the 2015 third quarter, more than 28 million smartphones were shipped, which was up from the same period in 2014 of 23.3 million representing an increase of more than 21.3%.
It is expected a similar increase will take place during the first two quarters of 2016. Apple is considered a single-brand retailer since it sells only products that it manufactured, while a location such as Walmart is considered under Indian law a multi-brand retailer as it sells a number of different brands in its stores.