India appears to be an increasingly important market for companies in and around the mobile industry. In recent years we’ve seen Google push into the space with its One platform, and the past couple of weeks have resulted in TikTok rivals aiming to take over in the app’s absence, and now Apple is increasing its presence.

This as the company is launching its first official online store there next week on 23rd September.

While it may seem surprising for some to hear that the online store is only arriving now, especially as India is the second largest smartphone market in the world, online stores previously dedicated to Apple devices and hardware were run by third parties.

This upcoming launch now means that an official presence will be available, although we don’t expect to see massive differences in terms of the quality of service being offered.

That said, there are a few new services on the way to accompany the new online store in India. Namely AppleCare+ to extend the warranty on devices by up to two years, as well as a trade-in offer for older iPhones in order to get discounts on new ones.

Added to this will be creator-specific training sessions being made available to Apple users in the country, along with a specialised engraving service that will cater to some of India’s official languages.

“With financing options and an available trade-in program, the Apple Store online offers a range of affordability options. Students can shop for a Mac or iPad with special pricing, and receive discounts on accessories and AppleCare+,” a press release about the upcoming launch explains.

“In October, customers can expect free online Today at Apple sessions led by local Creative Pros, focused on photography and music. Just in time for the festive season, signature gift wrap and personalized engraving will be available for select products. Engraving of emoji or text in English, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu will be available for AirPods, and English engraving will be available for iPad and Apple Pencil,” it adds.

With Apple devices and its associated ecosystem of services handled locally by distributor Core, it should prove interesting to see whether Apple plans to launch official online stores in countries like SA moving forward.

That said, many of the aforementioned services are already available locally, but it would be nice to have a direct channel to the Cupertino-based company.