Amid the ongoing US-China trade war several international companies including Apple have shifted their focus to India – in terms of manufacturing, expanding, and investing in the country. Last year, the Indian government eased the rules for single-brand retail markets for global firms.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has confirmed that the iPhone-maker will be opening its first official flagship brick-and-mortar store in India by next year.

The announcement was made in response to a question at Apple’s annual shareholder meeting at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, California, US.

Until now, the global tech giant has been relying on authorised dealers to maintain its retail availability in India, who in recent years has overtaken other countries like Vietnam and the US to emerge as the second largest market for smartphones in the world, right after China.

“I do not want somebody else to run the brand for us. We needed to get approval from the government to go in there ourselves rather than with a domestic partner", the Apple CEO was quoted as saying.

In addition, Cook mentioned that India would get Apple’s official online store in 2020.

According to media reports, the Apple chief said he believes in the opportunities that India offers owing to its “unparalleled” vibrancy and demographics.

“Much needed move to build on its recent momentum", said Prabhu Ram, Head, Industry Intelligence Group, CyberMedia Research (CMR), commenting on Apple’s India expansion plans.

Apple first addressed its official India expansion plans in October last year when Indian Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal announced that international companies would be required to open online markets before physical stores in the country.