Apple (APPL) next week will launch its first online store in India to sell directly to its customers.
This will be the first retail channel fully owned and operated by the tech giant, which has previously sold its products in India through e-commerce platforms and offline retail partnerships.
The Cupertino, Calif., company’s online store provides the full range of Apple products with help from Apple specialists, financing options as well as pricing and discounts.
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said in a tweet that “[we] know how important it is for our customers to stay in touch with those they love and the world around them. We can’t wait to connect with our customers and expand support in India with the Apple Store online on Sept 23.”
The company first started operating in India in 2000.
“We know our users are relying on technology to stay connected, engage in learning, and tap into their creativity,” Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of retail and people, said.
“[And] by bringing the Apple Store online to India, we are offering our customers the very best of Apple at this important time.”
Apple’s India online store will offer customer support in both English and Hindi and will ship with contactless delivery.
India now has the fastest-growing coronavirus caseload of any country in the world, reporting more than 90,000 new infections a day.
The country has more than 5.1 million covid-19 cases so far and 83,198 people have died from the disease, data from Johns Hopkins show.
In July, Apple started manufacturing its flagship iPhone 11 in India with its contract manufacturer, Foxconn.
Shares of Apple at last check slipped 0.7% to $109.57.