Apple to greatly expand retail presence in India with 500 'Authorized Mobility Resellers'

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As a part of its newly-invigorated attempt to improve sales in India, Apple is reportedly working to help launch 500 "Authorized Mobility Reseller" locations in 12 different cities.

The company is actively selecting partners in the project, and over 100 are already on board, sources told NDTV Gadgets. Retailers with past good performance as Apple resellers are said to be getting preference. The company has identified "micro markets" within each city, but is now hiring a project manager to narrow down store sites.

Although stores will be owned and run by independent retailers, Apple is said to be imposing rules on the size and design of each outlet, and appointing its own contractors to build out interiors. The company will help train staff on its products.

Although their label might suggest an iPhone focus, AMRs are expected to sell iPads as well, and various third-party accessories for both devices.

Apple has had difficulty making inroads into the Indian mobile market, owing to factors like its unique structure, the lack of any official Apple Stores, and the high cost of Apple products. Recent data indicated that while Apple had a 2 percent share of the Indian market, Samsung had 28 percent.

To help break through, the company is not only pursuing a new retail strategy but hiring a government affairs specialist who can pressure regulators into adopting Apple-friendly policies. In June it signed a deal with a fifth smartphone distributor as part of a plan to double local iPhone sales in each of the next three years.

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