Reliance signs up with Apple Inc to open 10 iStores in India – when will they come here???
India telecom giant Reliance landed an exclusive retail relationship with Apple – a $19.3-billion agreement to build a series of iStores that would showcase Macs and iPods and eventually the iPhone. The first store, which will be officially dubbed “iStore by Reliance Digital,” is expected to open by the end of October in Bangalore, the “Silicon Valley” of India.
The Economic Times (of India) reports that this is the first time Apple is teaming up with a corporate partner for distribution anywhere in the world. The iStores, the report says, would be standalone retail locations that would sell Apple products ranging from Macintosh computers to iPods and later, once it’s launched in India, the iPhone.
Already under construction, the first iStore in India will be opened just before Diwali and will be over 2,000 sq ft.
The report says that the Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Retail will open a total of 10 iStores by the end of the calendar year and that Apple would invest in market development. Apple has few resellers in India but no company-owned store, according to the Times.
While the deal is expected to give Apple an immediate presence and several retail and distribution points, the stores are also expected to help grow the Reliance Digital brand.
When will Apple come officially to Pakistan? The wee little stores we have now really do not do justice to the Apple store concept. Shall I write to Steve Jobs or to Mukesh Ambani? 😉
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