On Tuesday, over 300 people lined up outside of Apple’s store in Mumbai to take photographs with CEO Tim Cook, who opened the company’s first retail location there and emphasized the significance of the Indian market.
People gathered from all around the country in anticipation of the store’s opening celebration, which featured regional music and folk dancers.
Even though Apple products are accessible in India online, some fans had been waiting in line outside since the previous evening.
“The fanboy inside me would not listen,” Purav Mehta, 30, told Reuters, as he waited to get Cook’s signature on his boxed mint-condition iPod Touch, which he had bought on eBay, as well as waiting to buy the Apple Watch Ultra.
Many got their hair cut into the shape of the Apple logo, while others wore T-shirts in the co-founder Steve Jobs’ preferred style. One enthusiast even brought a 1984 model of the first Apple computer.
“The vibe here is just different,” said 23-year old Aan Shah, who travelled from the western industrial city of Ahmedabad for the launch in India’s commercial capital.
“It’s not like buying from some normal store. There’s just no comparison. It’s so exciting.”
As a young student in New York and Boston, he said that his passion for Apple led him to shop openings where he once had the opportunity to meet Cook.
Apple has had trouble constructing physical retail outlets in the country of South Asia in the past, although its items have been sold on e-commerce websites since the country’s first online store launched in 2020.
The opening of the new store coincides with an increase in Indian consumers’ desire to replace their basic, often less than $120 smartphones with glitzier models that provide richer feature sets.
Even so, just a small percentage of Indian consumers can afford Apple’s expensive smartphones, which only hold a 3% market share there.
A special ceremony on Monday marked the opening of the new store, which is housed in Reliance’s Jio World Drive mall. A number of Indian film and television stars were spotted meeting Cook that evening.
On Thursday, a second store is scheduled to open in Delhi, the nation’s capital. Later this week, Cook will meet with the deputy IT minister and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Some of Apple’s goods, including the iPhone, are put together in India by Taiwanese contract electronics makers Foxconn and Wistron Corp. as the company works to expand its manufacturing presence there.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)