The Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) brand is so popular that it has an unofficial store in Kabul, Afghanistan this time. The unofficial Apple Stores is not something that has been unheard off before. Last year, 22 unofficial stores of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) were located in China by the authorities there. The uniforms even were identical to those put by the employees in the official stores.
The store in Afghanistan is not as lavish or identical to the official stores of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), which could be seen in the other countries. The store is located in the largest mall of Afghanistan stretching around a small space. The Mall is located in posh Share-e-Naw district.
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The unofficial store in Kabul also does not get the benefit of the margins, which the other official stores earn. According to Mohammed Nasery, who is the sales manager in the store, they sell the 16GB iPhone 5 for $700, around $50 more than the iPhone in the USA. The product is imported from Dubai, where a 16 GB iPhone 5 can be bought for 2599 dirham (about $710). The store also gives the discount service to the customers buying in bulk. The margin earned on each unit falls in the range of $10 to $50.
However, the volume of sales is high in the store. On an average, five to six iPhone’s and two laptops are retailed every day. The iPhone and other products of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) are generally popular among the youngsters employed with the private companies, according to Nasery. He also mentioned that the demand of the iPhone’s and other Apple gadgets is high, but the supply is constraint.
In an interview last year with USC Annenberg, Esmatullah Rahimi, one of the store’s employee’s told “Well, Afghans don’t have a lot of money, so to own an Apple you need to have a good job. I’d say that most Apple consumers are pretty young, from around 25 to 35. These are the people who work either as translators for the military or who work on aid projects…Young Afghans work around foreigners who have iPod’s and Macs and iPad’s, and they want them too.”
Just like in Afghanistan, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is considered as the product that defines the status quo in other emerging economies like India. Apple did not focus on India previously, but lately it has made efforts to tap the huge market in the country with changes in its distribution and coming up with different financing schemes. The sales in India for Apple products have also increased after these efforts from the company.
The unofficial store was started in August 2010 and has been earning good since then. The owners are encouraged with the performance and are looking forward to expanding and locating second store in Kabul itself. The Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) store in Afghanistan reflects the popularity of Apple, which it enjoys all over the world. According to Nasery, when the outlet was opened he clicked a picture of it and mailed to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), but is yet to receive any response from them.