Apple seeks government approval to open stores in India
People stand outside before the official opening of the second official Apple Store in ChinaReuters

Apple has filed an application with the Indian government seeking approval to open its own stores in India. The tech giant currently sells its products through other retailers.

Amitabh Kant, secretary of India's Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), confirmed Apple's Indian expansion plans in a statement to the Economic Times. Kant said, "We have just received Apple's proposal. We are examining it." There has been no comment from Apple.

Recent changes in Indian regulations allow foreign companies that sell a single brand to open retail stores and sell their products directly.

The iPhone maker hopes to boost sales in one of the biggest telecom markets in the world, as its sales plateau in other markets. Apple's plan comes amid growing concerns of decreasing sales growth in the United States and even China.

Apple has quietly been developing a foothold in the Indian market. The company has said it crossed $1bn (£0.7bn, €0.9bn) in sales in India in March 2015.

Apple's recent aggressive advertising strategies in India are an indicator of more to come. According to experts at research firm Strategy Analytics, India is "most likely" to surpass the United States and becoming the world's second-largest market for smartphones by 2017.