Apple stores will open in India after all

A new ruling by the country reportedly means that Apple's physical retail stores, previously denied due to insufficient local sourcing, are now free to open.

David Katzmaier
David Katzmaier Editorial Director -- TVs and streaming
David runs CNET's home entertainment division, where he leads a team that covers TVs, streaming services, streaming devices and home audio. If he doesn't know something about the gear you use to keep yourself entertained at home, it's not worth knowing.
Expertise A 20-year CNET veteran, David has been reviewing TVs since the days of CRT, rear-projection and plasma. Prior to CNET he worked at Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as the Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics. Credentials Although still awaiting his Oscar for Best Picture Reviewer, David does hold certifications from the Imaging Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology on display calibration and evaluation.
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Welcome to the second largest country in the world, Genius Bar dudes.

After Apple initially said it would hold off on plans to open retail stores in India, it has reversed course and will reportedly go forward as planned.

The sticking point was a requirement by foreign direct investment (FDI) norms that require 30 percent of goods sold in the country be locally sourced. According to a report by TNW, that requirement was relaxed today.

As noted by 9to5Mac, the source cited by TNW doesn't exactly stipulate that the relaxed ruling is targeted toward Apple Stores explicitly, but according to Times of India Apple is expected to benefit.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Previous reports indicate that the relaxed requirement is only good for two or three years. During that time, Apple would be expected to work out agreements with local manufacturers under which it would be able to buy its components locally and eventually meet the local sourcing rules. Apple acquires almost all of its components from China.

India, with a massive population second only to China, is as a large growth opportunity for Apple. The company's sales in India have been relatively weak, owing to the high price of iPhones compared to competitors. Along with permission to sell refurbished phones in the country, the opening of physical Apple Stores is seen as a crucial advancement in India.