By Ben Otto
Apple Inc. will launch an online store in India on Sept. 23 as the tech titan bids to expands its footprint in a major market.
Apple said the store will offer its full array of products and customer services in the South Asia nation for the first time. That includes offering financing options and special pricing for students, as well as a trade-in program, the company said.
"We're proud to be expanding in India and want to do all we can to support our customers and their communities," Apple executive Deirdre O'Brien said in a statement.
The move could help Apple tap into growing demand for smartphones, computers and other consumer technology in the fast-growing nation. Apple has about a 1% share of India's smartphone market and sold around 2 million phones in the country last year, according to estimates by Counterpoint Research.
The debut of online sales in India will likely also be the precursor to the opening of brick-and-mortar stores. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said earlier this year that the company would open a first physical store in India in 2021.
Indian consumers have been the main engine of growth for Asia's third-largest economy, as well as the primary target of billions of dollars in foreign investment in recent years. India has been one of the the world's fastest-growing major economies, posting economic growth rates above 8% several years ago.
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