All eyes will be on Apple on April 18, which is when Apple is expected to open the doors to its first official retail store in India. India's first Apple Store, Apple BKC, will open at the Jio World Drive Mall, in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), Mumbai at 11:00am IST. The second store, called Apple Saket, will open at Select CITYWALK, New Delhi, on April 20 at 10:00am IST. Apple Stores are known for their design, experience and also for keeping in stock every single Apple product on sale in that country.
On this week's episode of the Gadgets 360 podcast Orbital, host and Reviewer Pranav Hegde talks to Senior Reviewer, Sheldon Pinto (myself) and Executive Editor, Jamshed Avari, who will be visiting the Apple BKC store on launch day. We discussed everything from the designs of the Apple Store globally, to the experience of the ones we have visited and what makes them so special.
The concept of an Apple Store is quite new for India. So, we first discuss how different they are and whether the concept of the store is special to begin with. This is less down to the speciality of the store and is more to do with how uniquely Apple does what it does. Stores that resemble the Apple Store format (though not a replica) do exist in the form of authorised retail stores like those from Maple, Aptronics and the like. But the actual Apple Store does things quite differently and this is what we believe may turn out to be an eye-opener for most Apple customers or visitors.
While friendly and knowledgeable staff may be a prerequisite for any authorised retailer, the ability to browse through every single accessory on sale in India will indeed be something that local retailers will possibly find hard to match.
We also discuss our personal experiences with Apple Stores abroad. While some of them are very special in terms of location, architecture and design, stores in other locations may not be all that special. So, it will indeed be interesting to see how Apple approaches and moulds its store designs around the cultures of these two cities in India.
Apart from the visual and cosmetic treatment, Apple Stores are also about the experience. Stores are known for constantly inviting local artists, holding training sessions, and more. There's also a focus on education, which is mainly to do with Apple devices.
Lastly, we dive into how Apple may do things differently for the Indian market. How it has the potential to change the way most people perceive and experience Apple service and support currently. And how Apple's online store has been a precursor to the grand opening of the first and hopefully, many stores to come in India.
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