Apple’s Request to Sell Refurbished iPhones Allegedly Rejected by Indian Government

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Apple’s request to import and sell refurbished iPhones in India was rejected, a telecommunications ministry official told Bloomberg.

The company was planning to increase market share in India with refurbished iPhones, and it asked for government permission to import used handsets. There was a problem, though, from the outset: a number of industry executives opposed the application citing various reasons. One of the noteworthy arguments was that by allowing the reselling of used iPhones, India would open the “floodgates to electronic waste, jeopardize local players, and make a farce of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India program to encourage local manufacturing.”

This is the second time Apple’s request has been rejected: the company made a similar request last year, but that one was also not approved by the environment ministry.

The iPhone maker currently controls only 2% of the Indian smartphone market. By selling refurbished handsets Apple would have been able to offer a more competitive pricing of the iPhone in a market where four-fifths of phones cost less than $150. The company recently unveiled the 4-inch iPhone SE, which retails for $399 and targets emerging markets like India.