Apple Still Wants to Sell Millions of Used iPhones in India

As part of its preconditions to manufacture in India, American tech giant Apple has told the government it wants to use its planned manufacturing units in India to export “certified pre-owned iPhones” in addition to the building of new devices, reads a new report from Bloomberg.

Bloomberg states that Apple told a panel of government officials that it would have the necessary infrastructure to make sure that these used iPhones “are compliant with quality standards,” thus trying to address concerns that India would become a dumping ground for old devices.

“The company has asked to bring in used iPhones to be refurbished and sold in India, saying it will have the manufacturing infrastructure needed to make them compliant with quality standards, said the person, who asked not to be named as the matter is private,” reads Bloomberg‘s report. “The request is included in a list of concessions submitted by Apple to a panel of government officials that includes a 15-year tax holiday, the person said.”

Apple’s request comes after an earlier proposal, seeking permission to sell “certified pre-owned” iPhones in India, was rejected by the Indian government. While Apple maintains that the sale of its pre-owned phones is prevalent in many countries, including the US, the Indian government maintained that any such move could make India a dumping ground of second-hand phones and pose environmental risks.

Many believed that refurbished iPhones, which would be available at a low price, would sell very well among Indians, but warned that the environmental impact would be huge for the country, especially when batteries reach their end of life. Apple, however, guarantees that every refurbished iPhone would meet the imposed standards.

“These phones still have life in them,” said Anshul Gupta, Mumbai-based research director at Gartner Inc., who estimates that 70 percent of phones sold in India go for under $200. “In India and other emerging markets, buyers cannot afford the flagship model so opt for older generation iPhones whose prices drop.”