Apple Inc. applied to open its own stores in India, a strategy that may help it better target a fast-growing market just as iPhone sales may be peaking.
Apple said it’s filed a request with the Indian government to bring its retail outlets to the world’s second- largest country. Emerging markets will prove crucial to Apple as some analysts predict a decline this year in sales of the iPhone, which accounts for about two-thirds of the company’s revenue.
Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook is searching for growth opportunities as smartphone sales flatten and China’s economy slows. Apple has 2 percent of the Indian market, according to International Data Corp., and needs to make inroads against competitors including Samsung Electronics Co., Xiaomi Corp. and Micromax Informatics Ltd.
Apple mostly uses resellers in India for its products. Redington India Ltd., Apple’s main domestic distributor, fell as much as 9 percent recently, heading for its lowest level since September. Apple’s shares are down 8.2 percent this year in New York.