Apple is gearing up to launch a refurbished iPhone market in India, according to a new report from The Times of India. The company is seeking permission from the Indian government to import pre-owned iPhones into the country, and has submitted a formal request to the ministry of environment and forests to begin doing so.

iPhone Comparison

"An application from Apple regarding import of certified pre-owned iPhones for sale in India and manufacturing certified pre-owned iPhones for sale in India has been received in the ministry of environment and forests," telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to the Parliament of India's Rajya Sabha.

Apple's attempts to set up a used iPhone program in India come after a series of recent reports that point to the company's doubling down on the smartphone market in the country. Earlier in February, Apple was said to be close to opening its own retail locations within India, after having to rely on an "Authorized Mobility Resellers" program due to the country's strict real estate and zoning laws.

Around the same time, Apple confirmed its plans to open a $25 million technology development site in Hyderabad, India that will focus on maps development and house over 150 employees. The Indian government has yet to respond to Apple's newest attempt at bolstering its market share in the country, but if approved it would be the first territory with used iPhones to be sold directly from Apple.

Tag: India

Top Rated Comments

2457282 Avatar
67 months ago
I suspect that India is similar to China in that only a small minority of the population could realistically afford an iphone - and yet because they have such a large population, even a small minority is in the hundreds of million range. If apple can crack into that group of consumers they will do well indeed.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kdarling Avatar
67 months ago
Not sure where you got that number, but the article seems to indicate to me that iPhone's make up 2.3% of smartphone sales across the country, which is still pretty abysmally small
You're right.

"Apple accounted for less than one percent of smartphone sales ('http://www.theverge.com/2015/11/24/9790810/apple-iphone-india-smartphone-market-share') nationwide in Q3 2015, but a new report from IDC ('http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prAP41064116') found it racked up 4.6 percent of sales in India’s top 30 cities — which the analyst firm estimates account for 51 percent of country-wide sales — during the last quarter of business."

The first link showed 0.9% in Q3 2015, but as you noted, IDC now says it's up to 2.3%.

Thanks!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jakexb Avatar
67 months ago
I was wondering what they were planning to do with the massive number of used 1 year old phones they're going to get as part of the upgrade program.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kdarling Avatar
67 months ago
According to this article, iPhones seem to be selling pretty well in India, even without the refurbs:

http://techcrunch.com/2016/03/04/apple-is-selling-more-phones-in-indias-biggest-cities-than-you-might-think/
That article points out how poorly a regularly (high!) priced iPhone sells in India. at only 0.9% of nationwide sales, which is only about a million a year total. And that's with Apple backed loan partners and trade-in programs.

I'm curious to see what sort of profit margins Apple will demand for pre-owned iPhones. Will Apple's profit strategy in India be in having large profit margins on pre-owned iPhone sales, or will their profit strategy be to sell the pre-owned iPhones at a low profit margin in order to get a large number of people tied in to the Apple app ecosystem?
Good smartphones in India sell for $150. So I think Apple will have to accept much lower margins.

However, Cook will be able to continue to claim high profit margins in earnings calls on "new" devices, while also claiming higher "India sales". He'll leave it to reporters to note that the latter are mostly used units.

It's great to see the constant progress that is being made in India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Hopefully Modi's "Make In India" campaign will someday lead to Apple doing some manufacturing there as some other smartphone companies have already done.
Yes, Lenovo moved some production to India and their sales went up.

Of course, there's also some major native Indian smartphone makers, such as Micromax, Karbonn and Lava. One would think the PM would support those over outsiders.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kdarling Avatar
67 months ago
2% market share in population of nearly 1.3 billion people equals more than total usa sales
2% of 1.3 billion would be 26 million, which is much less than Apple US sales.

But even that high an amount is not using a valid base number, since a lot of that billion plus Indian population can barely afford a living, much less a smartphone. The Indian smartphone market is only about 1/10th of the population, and most of that will likely be made up of low cost devices.

Google "smartphone sales India.". Smartphone sales in India just passed 100 million a year. Apple's 2+% portion of that is just 2-3 million a year, which is why they need a more affordable option.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macs4nw Avatar
67 months ago
Is it too obvious to deduce that the opening of that $25 million Hyderabad technology development site, expected to house (create?) over 150 jobs, might be a subtle overture by Apple to help grease the wheels to help overcome "the country's strict real estate and zoning laws?"

Being able to sell 'good-as-new' refurbished, pre-owned, and late-model iPhones at a lower price point in a huge developing market seems like another astute move by Apple to entice more Indian people into their ecosystem.

.....Of course, there's also some major native Indian smartphone makers, such as Micromax, Karbonn and Lava. One would think the PM would support those over outsiders.
While I get your point, that made me chuckle..... :D
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Top Stories 57 Feature

Top Stories: Apple Event Next Tuesday, Mini-LED iPad Pro, iPhone Rumors

Saturday April 17, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
It feels like we've been waiting forever for new Apple products, but the wait is almost over as Apple has announced a media event for next Tuesday, so make sure to tune into MacRumors for full coverage of everything Apple announces. While that was the big news this week, we also got some new details on Apple's iPhone plans for 2022 and 2023 courtesy of analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and we also saw...
flat imac 3d 3 teal

Reliable Leaker Hints Redesigned Colorful iMac to Debut at 'Spring Loaded' Event

Saturday April 17, 2021 4:43 am PDT by
Reliable leaker known as l0vetodream has hinted that Apple may debut its rumored redesigned and colorful iMac at its "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20. In a tweet, the leaker posted an image of Apple's logo used for marketing the upcoming event and an image of the retro rainbow Apple logo alongside the colorful lineup of G3 iMacs. Apple leaker Jon Prosser previously reported that...
third gen Apple pencil leaked video

Video of Alleged Third-Generation Apple Pencil Leaks Ahead of Apple Event

Friday April 16, 2021 6:13 am PDT by
A video purporting to be of the third-generation Apple Pencil has today been shared online, showing a glossy finish that mirrors previous leaks. New ✏️ ready to 🚢 #AppleEvent @TommyBo50387266 pic.twitter.com/s4RCDwDi5M— 漢尼斯·拉斯納 🇨🇳 (@ileakeer) April 16, 2021 The brief video from Twitter account @ileakeer, spotted by 9to5Mac, shows an Apple Pencil with a glossy finish much like the...
important battery message iphone 11

Some iPhone 11 Users Seeing Increased Battery Health Percentages After iOS 14.5 Recalibration Process

Friday April 16, 2021 6:32 am PDT by
In the sixth beta of iOS 14.5, Apple introduced a recalibration process for the battery health reporting system on the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max to address inaccurate battery health estimates for some users. Apple said this process might take a few weeks to be completed, and now that two weeks have passed since the sixth beta of iOS 14.5 was released, some users are...
duan rui iphone 12 13 notch

New Images Show Smaller iPhone 13 Notch Compared to iPhone 12

Saturday April 17, 2021 11:38 pm PDT by
Leaker known as "DuanRui" has shared more images that could give us our best look yet at Apple's redesigned notch for the iPhone 13. The new pictures follow similar images shared by the leaker last week, but the latest shots include a comparison with the existing iPhone 12 notch. DuanRui posted three images on Twitter that apparently originate from Weibo, although source details remain...
iphone 13 pro max cads eap

iPhone 13 Series CAD Leaks Reveal Larger Camera Dimensions

Friday April 16, 2021 1:53 am PDT by
Information and alleged CADs of the upcoming iPhone 13 series, shared in a video from EverythingApplePro, indicates that Apple plans to make this year's iPhone camera module significantly bigger, likely to make way for larger sensors and sensor-shift stabilization. According to the CADs shared in the video, the iPhone 13 mini, Pro, and Pro Max camera module will all be a "perfect square."...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Anker's MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack

Thursday April 15, 2021 9:39 am PDT by
Anker, a company known for its range of accessories designed for Apple products, recently came out with one of the first MagSafe-compatible battery packs, so we thought we'd check it out to see how it compares to a standard battery pack. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, Anker's power bank looks like a typical battery pack, but it has magnets built in...
apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
iphone 12 120hz thumbnail feature

LTPO Displays Supporting 120Hz Refresh Rates Again Rumored for iPhone 13 Pro Models

Friday April 16, 2021 10:01 am PDT by
The two higher-end "iPhone 13 Pro" models that are coming in 2021 are expected to use LTPO display technology to enable 120Hz refresh rates, according to display analyst Ross Young. Young reaffirmed the detail in a tweet that said he'd heard rumors about only one model featuring LTPO, which he says is inaccurate. Heard some rumors in the industry and media that there would only be one ...
apple music

Apple Music Tops Spotify With One Cent Paid Per Stream

Friday April 16, 2021 6:44 am PDT by
In a letter slated to be shared with artists today through the Apple Music for Artists dashboard, obtained by The Wall Street Journal, Apple has reportedly revealed that it pays music rights holders one cent per song streamed on Apple Music. The report claims that Apple Music's payment structure is thus roughly double what Spotify pays music rights holders per stream, which averages to about ...