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Apple to expand into India for the first time

(Image credit: Image Credit: Pio3 / Shutterstock)

Just two days after US President Donald Trump returned from a trip to India, US technology giant Apple has announced it will open both physical and online stores in the country imminently.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said an online store will go live later this year, and that the company's first physical store in India will open its doors in 2021.

According to the BBC, Apple needed special approval from the Indian government to open a store without a local partner.

Apple has been eyeing a move into India for quite some time. Although the announcement itself is not a surprise, this is the first time the project has been given a time-frame.

Tim Cook, who has repeatedly underlined India's importance to Apple, is expected to visit the country later this year to accelerate the development of the Indian business. 

Meanwhile, Apple reported double-digit growth in iPhone sales in the country in the fourth quarter of 2019.

"We had double-digit growth in many developed markets, including the US, the UK, France and Singapore, and also grew double digits in emerging markets led by strong performances in Brazil, Mainland China, India, Thailand, and Turkey," said Cook.

Apple currently sells its products to the Indian customers through third-parties, but competitors Samsung and Huawei dominate the region.