On Tuesday, approximately 300 people lined up at Apple’s store in Mumbai as admirers took selfies with Chief Executive Tim Cook, who opened the company’s first retail store in India, highlighting the significance of its market.
A magnificent opening party with local music and folk dancers drew people from throughout the country.
“The fanboy inside of me would not listen,” Purav Mehta, 30, told Reuters as he waited to get Cook’s signature on his eBay-purchased iPod Touch in pristine condition, as well as to purchase an Apple Watch Ultra.
One fan even carried a replica of the first Apple computer introduced in 1984.
Aan Shah, 23, who traveled from the western industrial city of Ahmedabad for the inauguration in India’s commercial capital, remarked, “The vibe here is just different.”
“It’s not like shopping at a regular establishment. There is no comparison. It’s so thrilling!” As a young student in New York and Boston. He attended Apple store openings and had the opportunity to meet Tim Cook, he said.
Apple has previously encountered obstacles when attempting to establish physical retail stores in the South Asian country. But its products have been available on e-commerce websites, and its online store will open in 2020.
The new store opens as an increasing number of Indian consumers seek to upgrade their smartphones from budget devices typically costing less than $120 to shinier models with richer feature sets.
In India, where Apple has 3% market share, only a few can afford Apple’s pricey phones.
The new store, located in the Reliance-owned Jio World Drive mall, was opened to bloggers and tech analysts at a private event on Monday, and several Indian film and television stars were seen meeting with Cook that evening.
Some of Apple’s products, including iPhones, are assembled in India by Taiwanese contract electronics manufacturers Foxconn and Wistron Corp. as part of Apple’s efforts to expand its manufacturing base in India.