Early last month we reported that Apple was planning to sell refurbished iPhones in India and had submitted a formal request to the country's government in order to allow it to begin importing pre-owned iPhones into the country.

This morning, however, news has surfaced that major smartphone makers in the Indian market including Samsung, Karbonn, Micromax and Intex are actively opposing Apple's move on environmental grounds.

According to Bloomberg, phone manufacturers argue that elevated electronic waste levels could threaten the viability of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India program, which promotes and encourages local manufacturing. Critics argue that destroying the phones produces toxic materials that could harm the country's precarious ecological balance, which is already struggling to deal with a massive e-waste problem.

iPhone Comparison
The opposition came in a letter sent to the Indian government by a lobbying group recently set up by India's Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA). In the letter, manufacturers argued that allowing the sale of used iPhones in India would not only negatively impact the environment, but it would also go against the country's importation policy.

"Why even consider allowing import of used phones when import of other used goods such as cars are precluded by 300 percent duty levies?" asked Ravinder Zutshi, chairman of the newly formed Mobile and Communications Council, which issued the letter.

Apple’s initial application in 2015 was rejected by the environment ministry. The company's latest application has gone to "inter-ministerial discussion", leaving its outcome uncertain, according to the report. If approved, India would be the first territory with used iPhones to be sold directly from Apple.

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.

In December of last year, Apple cut the prices of its iPhone 6s and 6s Plus handsets in India by up to 16 percent, following a reported dive in sales. The move quickly followed Apple's decision to halve the price of iPhone 5s, from 45,500 Rupees ($688) to 24,999 Rupees ($377).

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently praised India's business environment and stated that the company is putting increasingly more energy into the country, which has the third largest smartphone market in the world, behind China and the U.S.

Apple has less than 2 percent of the market, in which four-fifths of phones cost less than $150. Branded smartphones are available for as little as $35 in India, yet less than one third of the population uses them.

Tag: India

Top Rated Comments

vooke Avatar
76 months ago
Regulations, high taxes, corruption ...
That's why India is a poor third world country.
Nonsense,
US taxes are among the highest
US has tons of regulations and subsidies to promote local manufacturing. It also, like all countries, have anti-dumpling laws
Corruption perhaps but not the biggest cause. Their population is a factor. China is the largest economy in the world yet they are nowhere near first world. Drop your stereotypes that border on racial slur

That only phone manufacturers are concerned tells me they are scared of competition more than anything else. Cheap iPhones would eat into their very tiny market share
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
justperry Avatar
76 months ago
Environment??? Apple is the most environment friendly company in the world.
Hahaha, you are joking right.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BrodieApple Avatar
76 months ago
It's clearly a business idea to stop them and they're using that as an excuse. I don't know much about that topic, but pretty sure refurbishing phones does less damage then Samsung and all those companies not using renewable energy and other things like Apple does.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
weave Avatar
76 months ago
Two things.

1) Wait, how does it make sense that selling used goods is less environmentally friendly than making new ones? In one case one devices ends up in being discarded, in the other two or more do.

2) India taxes imports at 300% all the while selling us cheap ****? And people give Trump a hard time about him wanting to put tariffs on the countries that are undercutting U.S. goods. I really don't agree with a lot of the stuff he says but maybe he has a point about this one....
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lordcris Avatar
76 months ago
Regulations, high taxes, corruption ...
That's why India is a poor third world country.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CoolGuy9890 Avatar
76 months ago
In the letter, manufacturers argued that allowing the sale of used iPhones in India would not only negatively impact the environment
Environment??? Apple is the most environment friendly company in the world. I would agree with the "Make in India" argument, but not with the environment. Maybe samsung and others just hate business and Apple.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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