Indian handset association has welcomed the government’s decision to reform existing Single Brand Retail Trade (SBRT) rules which will now paved the way for establishment of iconic brands by global brands such as Apple, One Plus, Oppo, Vivo among others.

The move will benefit the US-based premium smartphone maker, facing challenging times in the Indian smartphone market amid stiff competition from Chinese companies.

In addition, single-brand retail companies will be able to set up online stores before they open retail outlets.

Although smartphone sales are currently in decline around the world, India’s smartphone market remains highly attractive – it is the world’s fastest growing, and also its second largest

Apple has issued an official statement about the same,

We love our customers in India and we’re eager to serve them online and in-store with the same experience and care that Apple customers around the world enjoy. We appreciate the support and hard work by Prime Minister Modi and his team to make this possible, and we look forward to one day welcoming customers to India’s first Apple retail store. It will take us some time to get our plans under way, and we’ll have more to announce at a future date.

To boost sales, several iPhone models have been assembled locally. This allows the company to enjoy some of the tax benefits Narendra Modi’s government have provided as part of its Make in India initiative.

India’s online retail market is surging and smartphones account for a chunk of e-commerce companies’ sales. Over a fifth of the phones sold in the country are through online channels and through direct sales, Apple could win greater customer loyalty.