Apple CEO Tim Cook made history on Tuesday when he opened the first Apple store in India. The store, located in Mumbai's Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), marks a major milestone for the iPhone maker as it looks to expand its presence in the country.
The opening of the store was met with great fanfare, as hundreds of people queued up to get a glimpse of Cook and take selfies with him. Videos showed Mr Cook cutting a red ribbon at the entrance of the 28,000 sq ft store, which is Apple's second retail outlet in India.
Expansion Plans for India
The launch of Apple's first physical store in India comes after years of negotiations with the Indian government over taxes and other regulations. The company has been looking to expand its presence in India since 2017, when it began manufacturing iPhones locally.
Apple also plans to open a second retail outlet in New Delhi later this week. In an interview with Reuters, Cook said that he was “thrilled” to be opening stores in India and that he was “looking forward to growing our presence here”. He added that he was “confident that customers are going to love what they find inside”.
Excitement Among Fans
The excitement among fans was palpable as they waited for hours outside the BKC store for their chance to meet Cook and take selfies with him. Many brought along vintage devices such as iPhones from 2007 and 2008, which were showcased by Apple during the event.
Speaking about his experience at the event, one fan told Reuters: “I am very excited about meeting Tim Cook today and I am sure I will have a great time inside the store”. Another fan said: “I have been waiting since morning just so I can get a glimpse of him.”
A Growing Market
India is seen as an important market for Apple due to its large population and rapidly growing middle class. According to market research firm Counterpoint Research, Apple shipped 1 million iPhones in India last year — up from 800,000 units shipped in 2020 — making it one of its fastest-growing markets globally.
With more than 500 million smartphone users expected by 2022, analysts say there is still plenty of room for growth for Apple in India. By opening physical stores across the country, Apple hopes to tap into this potential by providing customers with an immersive shopping experience that will help drive sales further.
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