Apple gets more serious in India

 Apple’s looking pretty serious at extending its reach in the world’s expanding markets, planning a retail store in Beijing, China and continuing to expand its relationships in India, putting its force behind the launch of an array of 60 ‘iStores’ with Reliance Retail in India.

Reliance Retail today told India’s Economic Times that it plans to launch 60 Apple Premium Reseller stores across the country by 2011.

The company this week launched its fourth iStore in Jaipur. CEO Ajay Baijal said the shop is going to stock the entire range of Apple products for both the professional and consumer segments.

Indian consumers can also look forward to the launch of “up to” 150 ‘Reliance Digital’ mega-stores, offering consumer electronics products, across India in the next two years.

Consumer electronics? Oh yes; As we reported in April, Vodafone will introduce iPhone in India later this year (we suspect September, after current key markets have been served up with the device, and in line with previous reports emanating from the sub-continent). Vodafone confirmed it plans to launch iPhone (v.2.0?) in India this year in a widely reported announcement that emerged this week.

Making a mark on the sub-continent makes pretty good business sense at this stage. India’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to achieve around 7.6% growth between 2008/09 and 2012/13. IT sales and services are expected to boom in the country, which has a population of 1,147,995,898. Shamefully, when considering the quantity of cheap consumer goods produced in the country, per capita income works out at $2,700 per capita.

(Oh, and it’s regional…if you think back to last week, when US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne W Patterson introduced another Apple partnership, this time in Lahore, Pakistan. According to a press release, the Ambassador said: “The partnership between Apple and Raffles Systems, representing our two countries, will promote growth and prosperity in Pakistan”. 


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