India Officially Rejects Apple’s Proposal to Sell Refurbished iPhones

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In line with previous rumours, Apple’s proposal to sell refurbished iPhones in India has been officially rejected by the Indian government, LiveMint is reporting (via CNET). The announcement was made in New Delhi by India’s commerce and industry minister, Nirmala Sitharaman.

“We are not in favour of any company selling used phones in the [country], however certified they may be,” she said.

That’s a major drawback for Apple as they look to increase market share in the country. Selling refurbished iPhones would have been great, as the handset, which retails for around $700, has to compete with smartphones selling for less than $150. Approval for selling refurbished iPhones would have allowed Apple to offer its sought-after handset at a much lower price.

Sitharaman has also commented on Apple’s proposal to open retail stores in the country, saying that she supports waiving rules that threaten to block Apple’s plans by forcing it to buy at least 30% of their manufacturing materials from Indian vendors.

Apple sought permission from the Indian government in January to open retail stores. The ministries seem to be divided over Apple’s request, as the Foreign Investment Promotion Board, a panel of bureaucrats that gives the final go-ahead to foreign investment proposals, disagreed about waiving the local-sourcing rule for Apple, alongside Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, according to the Wall Street Journal. At this point it is uncertain what the final and official answer will be.

Technology enthusiast, rocker, biker and writer of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter or contact me via email: istvan@iphoneincanada.ca

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    “selling refurbished iPhones would have allowed Apple to offer its sought-after handset at a much lower price”

    You know what else could allow Apple to offer their handsets at a much lower price (if you consider the 15%-20% Apple usually charges for refurbs a “much” lower price)? Apple could, you know, lower their price.

    I mean Apple’s got $200,000,000,000 in the bank; how much more does it need?

  • hlna55

    brought to you by the country that has been selling and refurbishing the SAME Hindustan Amabassador taxi cab (I think it’s called) for the last 60 YEARS

  • hlna55

    So basically Apple should change their business model (you know, making money) and betray their shareholders for the privelage of selling their phones to a country that won’t allow the sale of fully guaranteed product, refurbished or not.

    Hahahaha. Good call

  • Shameer Mulji

    Kind of hypocritical that India allows refurbished cars to be sold but not iPhones. There’s no turning back time. The protectionist economy ship has sailed and is not coming back.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    They can do as they please. But it’s in my best interest to lobby for lower prices. That is my right.

  • bharat

    Ambassador is 100% made in India, and satisfies minimum 30% indian parts requirements, on the other hand, iPhone is not made in India and hence doesn’t qualify the requirements

  • hlna55

    “made by apple and not by India” wasn’t the reason. Stay on point. The reason was because it was refurbished and not “new”. Coming from a country that has made the same exact car for over 60 years.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    And our government allows Apple to pay a far lower percentage of their earnings in taxes than you or I do. That’s not fair either. Governments suck, what can I say.

  • BigCat

    This kind a reminds of the processs of catching cab at the New Delhi International Airport.

    It can cost you a incrediblly large amount of money or it can cost you very little:)