India Turns Down Apple's Request to Sell Used iPhones

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iPhone-trioIn March, Apple submitted a formal request to the Indian government in relation to selling refurbished iPhones in the country. Today, however, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that she is "not in favor" of accepting that proposal (via The Economic Times).

On Apple's proposal to import refurbished phones and sell in India, Sitharaman said, "We would not be in favour of whatever you may call them -- used but refashioned, remodelled, updated... used goods. We are not in favour of bringing them here."

The decision comes just days after the Indian government decided not to exempt Apple from a local rule requiring that 30 percent of goods sold by foreign companies be manufactured or produced within the country. India last year exempted retailers selling state-of-the-art goods from the rule, prompting Apple to file a new application in hopes of opening single-branded retail stores in India.

Apple is opportunistic about increasing its presence in India, where its market share is estimated to be only around 2 percent. Apple CEO Tim Cook, who visited India earlier this month, said the country provides a "really great opportunity" for growth, particularly after sales in the U.S. and China have slowed. Apple's revenue grew 56 percent in India last quarter, passing the $1 billion mark for the first time.

India has price-sensitive consumers, however, so Apple's inability to sell refurbished iPhones in the world's second most populous country may hinder it efforts to grow in the region. Cook has admitted that iPhones are too overpriced in India, compared to equivalent U.S. pricing, due to local tariffs.

"The duties and the taxes and the compounding of those takes the price and it makes it very high. Our profitability is less in India, it's materially less — but still I recognize that prices are high," said Cook, in an interview with Indian network NDTV. "We want to do things that lower that over time, to the degree that we can … I want the consumer in India to be able to buy at a price that looks like the U.S. price."

At least for now, those plans will seemingly not involve the sale of refurbished iPhones.

Tag: India

Top Rated Comments

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54 months ago
So Tim, did the BJP and Modi's propaganda bit for them and got nothing in return ...

Nice one, Tim!
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
54 months ago
"A great opertunity for growth", Ye great Tim while the rest of us in Europe don't even have Apple Pay on a two year old phone. Yey growth in a new country so you can shadow the fact your sales are crapping out and not making anything amazing anymore right? It's all about the shareholders Tim.. God I hate him so much
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
54 months ago
Usually, in arguments, both sides are right or reasonable to some degree. In this case, both sides are wrong and unreasonable.

India isn't acknowledging their working class's comparatively impoverished existence. Apparently, they aren't familiar with the adage, "beggars can't be choosey".

Cook, on the otherhand, has balls to blame taxes and tariffs while acting as though Apple's notorious margins are already as thin as possible.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
54 months ago
I'll bet Apple's warehouse is pretty full with all those traded in iPhones that they thought they could push off on India ... fail ... and have now been denied by the Indian government for the umpteenth time.

Imagine Apple's idea of posting double counted iPhone sales - once as new, and again as refurbished - gotta' find someway to keep those shareholders happy.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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54 months ago
India's loss.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
54 months ago

So Tim, did the BJP and Modi's propaganda bit for them and got nothing in return ...

Nice one, Tim!

Anyone who thought one trip would change Indian policy never had to deal with government bureaucracy and politics.

Relationships aren't built overnight. His trip was about educating themselves and planting the seeds for a long-term play, including entertainment... Hence all the Bollywood stars.

He did say, after all, Apple plans to be in India for the next 1,000 years. These are very minor speed bumps when looked at with that kind of horizon.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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