A month ago, reports came in that Apple was planning to import and sell refurbished iPhones in India but was facing stiff opposition from local vendors. The whole plan has gone down the bin now — officially — as a telecommunications ministry official confirmed to Bloomberg on Tuesday that the request has been rejected.
This is not the first time when the Cupertino giant has been turned down for attempting to sell used iPhones in the subcontinent. Last year too, the company had come with a similar request which was turned down by environment ministry with a statement pointing to the fact that the used phones, which are close to end-of-life, would contribute to India’s e-waste problems.
Currently, Apple barely holds in 2 percent of the world’s second largest mobile market in terms of shipments. The tech giant has been attempting to get these numbers up for a while now and with the global iPhone sales nearing a standstill, this is the need of the hour for the American company.
The Indian market structure is such that consumers prefer to buy high-end smartphones but the premium pricing of Apple’s devices holds a setback. The company wanted to get ahead of this challenge by importing and selling used refurbished iPhones, thus reducing the selling price and resulting in a wider market coverage.
When news about Apple’s plans for selling used iPhones started surfacing, local smartphone vendors countered the attempt entirely. In fact, a corporate body, that consisted of the likes of Micromax, Intex and Samsung among its numbers, had been formed and was actively lobbying to ensure that Apple did no better than its last attempt.
Apple is also seeking to open its first Indian retail stores in the near future. And just a couple of months ago, we saw the company restructure its entire business in India to improve its market reach and efficiency in the budget-driven Indian market.