India rejects Apple’s plan to import and sell refurbished iPhones

“India has rejected Apple Inc.’s request to import and sell refurbished iPhones to the world’s second largest mobile population, a telecommunications ministry official said Tuesday,” Saritha Rai reports for Bloomberg.

“The U.S. company’s application has been turned down, the official said, asking to not be identified, citing official policy,” Rai reports. “Apple has been seeking permission to import and sell used phones to court price-conscious consumers with a similar proposal rejected in 2015 by the environment ministry.”

“The decision is a setback for Apple, which has just 2 percent of Indian phone shipments but needs to tap new markets as global iPhone sales plateau,” Rai reports. “The U.S. company is also seeking permission to open its first Indian retail stores, key to driving its brand in a market dominated by local vendors. That decision is pending.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Bad news for Apple and for Indian consumers who could have had access to the world’s best smartphone at prices that were more accessible for that market.

14 Comments

    1. Maybe a guarantee to export, eventually, the same number of imported iPhones to not leave ‘tech waste’ in the country will also be needed to convince them.

  1. I work as an IT administrator of a reputed institution in india.
    And the Apple employees here are plain DUMB.
    They have no idea about the company, the unique features of the OS or any new announcements.
    For e.g. the classroom app. I called for support the main head of operations did not know about it. Then a week later they said its not supported in India.
    They took 5 years to bring iTunes U.
    Malaysia and Singapore get those features immediately. If you ask them they give this annoying lecture about their european jurisdiction and so on. India is more close to Singapore , Malaysia in terms of work culture. Why club us with Europe and keep our prices higher etc. This shows the top management does not have a clear idea / vision for india.
    these things don’t cost much money. I cannot understand how a company can be so sluggish in their implementation of simple features.
    No wonder the government rejected their proposal. it must have sucked!!

    1. I forgot to add one more thing. The new iPad pro basic wifi only model in India is 800$ Whereas its only 660$ in Malaysia.
      What is the logic in setting this price.

      Per capita income of an average
      Malaysian – 11,307 $
      Indian – 1152 $

      1. You might want to investigate your country’s import policies, duties and tarriff structures. Historically, Indian Government policy has not been friendly to outside companies trying to do business in India.

        1. But samsung / windows tablets don’t seem to have such massive difference in price. Plus Apple prices were reasonable until 2012. The local distributors say its because of the new jurisdiction we have UK prices which is higher than SE asian prices.

          1. I doubt Apple has any control over the “jurisdictions” you are referring to. The World Trade Organization has no such concept of jurisdictions. That is something the Indian Government imposes on its own citizens with regard to international trade.

  2. I guarantee that the “small business” resellers were SCREAMING about Apple coming in and taking over the smartphone arena. The price point on refurbished phones would allow a up and coming demographic to get exposure to the Apple ecosystem.

    Some of the MSM “business networks” are claiming little Apple brand recognition in India. I call BS! Talk to anyone from India and they will tell you Apple is very highly regarded.

    Yes the silverhawk1 idea about a India based iPhone refurbishment center is a good one. Apple and Foxconn are building facilities in India right now to manufacture new iPhones. I am sure this will include repair service and refurbishment facilities as well…..
    Apple is coming to India in a big way!!!!

    Ok, back to the narrative—- Apple is doomed and makes no money………ummmmkay…….got it….!!!

  3. Good! The government of India saw this as an insult. I agree with them. Apple needs a new CEO, one that spends less time in the spotlight and way more time solving Apple’s problems, like how to reduce the price of the iPhone and offer even greater quality and functionality while doing so.

    ( no country wants its people to be thought of as poor, second class, deserving the world leftovers, Cook has to go. Many think he would make a good American president, let him quit and run for office. He likes the camera and the crowds. )

    If that problem, reducing price, does not interest him, how about the one with the Macs and Intel’s lack luster over priced processors. Quality and high price don’t have to go hand in hand. Or perhaps the buggy OSs, or producing a monitor, oh yeah no need for a better monitor the Macs are outdated too, or the foolishness of buying back shares, or incurring debt when it’s not necessary, or what about iMovie, or Pages, or Numbers, … until the next new thing comes, how about making the other products must haves, easier to use, exciting…

    Where are the lines of clothes, sneakers, wallets, handbags, toys, etc? May as well.

    Hey! A car! A watch! Where are the shades, and gloves? I hope they are in development, too.

    1. Bob, I seriously think that the government saw it as an insult. More likely they were looking for a bribe or two and did not get it.

      From everything I read, India is a third world country because the people in power like it that way.

  4. I bought a used iPhone from a store in the neighborhood. Works well and cheap too. Think people who buy new ones get the bad deal. Didn’t see this store as insulting, but an opportunity for smart purchasing.

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