Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has made headlines this year for a flurry efforts to tap the potentially fertile Indian smartphone market. Earlier in 2017, Cupertino executives reportedly met with Indian government officials to discuss duty concessions that would allow it to set up local iPhone assembly operations, followed by reports that it will start manufacturing the iPhone SE there in April.
These moves make it clear that it has set into motion a chain of events to make a dent in this market, where annual smartphone sales could double to 200 million by 2020, according to Euromonitor International. It’s no surprise that the latest Apple/India news is that the company has decided to aggressively expand its retail presence to grab a larger slice of India’s smartphone market. The Economic Times reports that Apple has set up “over 100” franchised stores in India and is looking at a big expansion of that number.
Apple’s global popularity hasn’t penetrated the Indian market, with Morgan Stanley in May of last year putting its brand awareness at a distant 10th position in India. The Cupertino-based smartphone giant trailed even BlackBerry, Sony, and domestic smartphone manufacturers in terms of popularity.