During the 2021 fiscal year (which ends in September for Apple), the iPhone maker said it had doubled its business in India. “We are optimistic about the future, especially as we see strong demand for our new products,” Cook said in the company’s Oct. 28 earnings call.

Apple still faces challenges in the country. Covid-19 has hit production lines hard. Separately, Apple could face an anti-trust probe like the ones in US, Europe, and other parts of Asia, as Indian authorities investigate the 30% fee on in-app transactions it charges developers.

The Apple store experience

Expanding its retail presence globally is about more than just selling laptops and phones for Apple.

Abroad, Apple stores are more akin to “town squares” than shopping outlets. Their free wifi is a big draw, and some offer opportunities for co-working, complete with modern boardrooms. At several locations, the company hosts classes in which “creative pros” teach customers skills such as photography, music, art, coding, and more. Such experience-driven retail aims to foster a community of lifelong fans of the brand.

The stores also give Apple the opportunity to tackle its a massive repair problem in India, where any fix needs to be done by Apple’s certified third-party outlets, and usually takes months and costs several hundreds dollars. Several people have taken to Twitter to complain about harrowing service. (They’re not alone in finding it difficult to get fixes done; Apple recently launched a service for users interested in attempting their own basic repairs.)

By bringing a store to India, Apple can set up its own Genius Bars, and hopefully mitigate some of these troubles.

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