19:22 GMT27 February 2021
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): A day after the Indian government liberalised norms for the single-brand retail market for global firms, Apple has announced it will soon open its first retail outlet in world's fastest-growing smartphone market.

    The Cupertino-based iPhone manufacturer also appreciated Prime Minister Narendra Modi's support and hard work.

    "We love our customers in India, and we're eager to serve them online and in-store with the same experience and care that Apple customers around the world enjoy," Apple said.

    "We appreciate the support and hard work by Prime Minister Modi and his team to make this possible, and we look forward to one day welcoming customers to India's first Apple retail store," the company added.

    Easing local sourcing norms for foreign direct investment in Single Brand Retail Trading, on Wednesday, Indian Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, announced that global giants could open online sales before opening brick and mortar stores to bring the "policy in sync with current market practices".

    "Online sales will also lead to the creation of jobs in logistics, digital payments, customer care, training and product skilling," the minister added.

    While appreciating the decision industry body, ASSOCHAM said the norms relating to 30 per cent local sourcing have now been made flexible to enable major single-brand retailers to integrate their Indian operations with their global supply chain.

    "With the US-China trade war remaining unabated, India could be the best possible alternative for global firms offering them operational efficiency and scale," ASSOCHAM vice-president Niranjan Hiranandani said.

    Apple has been staring at falling sales in China, which forced the iconic brand to lower prices amid reports of shifting its sourcing from China to India.

    According to the International Data Corporation's (IDC), India smartphone market saw the highest ever second quarter shipment of 36.9 million in the second quarter of 2019, with a 9.9% year-on-year (YoY) and 14.8% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) growth. Apple bettered Samsung for the leadership position with an overall share of 41.2%.

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