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.