People flocked from all over the country, hoping to be among the first to enter the store for an opening event featuring local music and folk dancers.
Some fans queued outside the night before to get their hands on the Apple products, even though they are available online in India.
“The fan in me didn’t want to listen,” Purav Mehta, 30, told Reuters as he waited to receive Cook’s signature on his iPod Touch.
Many wore t-shirts in the style favored by co-founder Steve Jobs, had their hair cut in the shape of the Apple logo and one fan even brought a version of the first Apple computer released in 1984.
“The vibe here is just different,” said Aan Shah, 23, who traveled from the western industrial city of Ahmedabad for the launch in India’s commercial capital.
“It’s not like buying in a normal store. There’s no comparison. It’s so exciting.”
His love of Apple took him to store openings as a young student in New York and Boston, where he once had the chance to meet Cook, he said.
Apple has previously faced hurdles in opening brick-and-mortar retail stores in the South Asian nation, but its products have been available on e-commerce websites while its online store opened in 2020.
The new store opens as Indian consumers increasingly look to upgrade their smartphones to flashier models with richer feature sets, from budget devices that typically cost less than $120.
However, Apple’s expensive phones are affordable to only a few people in India, where they account for just 3% of the market.
The new store, located in the Reliance-owned Jio World Drive mall, opened to bloggers and tech analysts at a private event on Monday, while many Indian film and television celebrities were seen meeting Cook in that night
A second store in Delhi, the capital, will open on Thursday. Cook is due to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Deputy IT Minister later this week.
As Apple pushes to make India a bigger manufacturing base, some of its products, including iPhones, are being assembled in the country by Taiwanese contract electronics manufacturers Foxconn and Wistron Corp.
Apple also plans to assemble iPads and AirPods in India.
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