Apple’s ‘Genius Bay’ will feature trained professionals to offer troubleshooting advice to customers

  • The servicing facilities will be operated in the store under a section called ‘Genius Bay’, which will feature trained professionals who will offer troubleshooting advice to customers

Shouvik Das
Updated17 Apr 2023
So far, Apple’s service centers operated out of separate physical spaces from its stores, which were owned and operated through third parties in the country.
So far, Apple’s service centers operated out of separate physical spaces from its stores, which were owned and operated through third parties in the country.(REUTERS)

Apple’s own retail stores in India, which start operations with an outlet in Mumbai from tomorrow, will also offer servicing of its devices within the same store itself. So far, Apple’s service centers operated out of separate physical spaces from its stores, which were owned and operated through third parties in the country.

The servicing facilities will be operated in the store under a section called ‘Genius Bay’, which will feature trained professionals who will offer troubleshooting advice to customers. Booking a servicing slot at the company’s own store will retain the same procedure, where users can reserve a time slot from Apple’s official India website, the company said.

Apple confirmed the move at a pre-launch media event in Mumbai’s Bandra-Kurla Complex business district outlet, which became the first to start commercial operations in India. The company is set to open its Delhi outlet on April 20, while a third outlet in Bengaluru is also in final preparation stages, according to a report last month by Business Standard.

Industry experts said that while the move is a welcome one, it will not be a departure from how the company has operated in India so far. Tarun Pathak, research director at market researcher Counterpoint India, said that the service center offering will work in the same model as prior to its own store’s opening.

“Apple, to be sure, will not be providing device repair and servicing on its own. It will offer a trade-in program too at the store itself, but the logistical retail operations of the program will be offered by a third-party vendor. For servicing and repair of devices, the same third-party model will follow. Having it all available under one roof is more of an experiential play from Apple, through which it will try to offer users every possible thing related to the brand under one umbrella,” Pathak said.

He further added that Apple’s existing third-party retail network in the country will not be majorly disrupted as a result of the opening of its own store. “Apple already has a robust network of premium third-party resellers of its products, as well as service centers. There could be an incremental difference at its own stores, in the form of customer experience, but that is the only difference that we expect — nothing operationally,” he said.

Apple’s own stores are also likely to feature a larger collection of devices from its portfolio, in terms of the overall colour options and the choice of variants available under one roof.

On April 5, Mint reported that while the opening of its own retail outlets may not impact its market share, Apple’s opening of its store may impact its overall brand positioning in the country. Navkendar Singh, associate vice-president at market researcher IDC India, told Mint that the company’s own retail outlets may “eventually cannibalize” some of its large-format retail sales in the country, but projected “device and variant availability” to be better at its own stores, than at third-party-run ones.

Apple’s stores were rumored to open for a long time, and come at a time when the company’s market share and shipments in India are at a record high. According to data shared with Mint by IDC India, Apple is likely to have shipped an estimated 6.5 million iPhones last year — a record for the company, and up by 35% annually.

According to Counterpoint data published on January 27, Apple also had a record December quarter — ranking sixth in device shipment rankings and accounting for 8% of all smartphones shipped to India during the period. The company’s shipments in India grew, albeit from a much lower base than the top five smartphone brands, even as overall smartphone shipments in the country fell by 27% annually during the December quarter.

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