It increasingly seems like Apple won’t be selling refurbished iPhones in India. After reports about the government on the verge of rejecting Apple’s application, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has given a confirmation of sorts. Apple is coming to India, only to manufacture new products, as part of the electronic manufacturing programs, Prasad said. Also Read - PUBG New State receives over 17 million pre-registrations as closed alpha testing endsAlso Read - iPhone selling in LG stores? Apple is apparently in talks for a new deal
The BusinessLine reports that Prasad met with senior officials of Foxconn — Apple’s chief manufacturing partner — and they revealed the Cupertino-based company’s plans for the country. These officials reportedly ‘cleared the air’ of sorts and told Prasad that Apple only plans to manufacture new products in India. Also Read - Apple CEO Tim Cook claims iOS is more secure than Android
While encouraging Apple to manufacture in India, Prasad also urged other smartphone companies to join the ongoing initiatives to locally manufacture. With Digital India expanding, the market is going to grow further. I am happy to note that all the major players (handset makers) of the world are in India in a big way and my initiative of making India as a hub of electronics manufacturing has struck a favorable note all over the world, he said.
Apple has already applied for permission to set up Apple Stores in India, and as per reports, it seems quite close to get a go ahead from the government. The same can’t be said about its plans for importing and selling refurbished iPhones in India though.
The premium price tag on the iPhones is something that has stopped Apple from dominating the market, and refurbished iPhones will go a long way in bringing the price down in India. It is important to note that refurbished iPhones are not second hand devices, but are basically sent back to Apple s manufacturing partners. These devices are then put through standard quality tests and faulty components are replaced. These units then get a new serial number, a new IMEI number, and the standard one-year warranty too.
But Apple has received strong opposition from the government as well as other Android players. The industry body Mobile and Communications Council of India backed by the likes of Micromax, Samsung and Intex for one wrote to the government to reject Apple’s application. The environment ministry too is said to be opposed to the move since they feel it will add to the problem of e-waste.
This news will be a major blow for Apple, especially at a time when it is seeing a dip in revenues. India is the only shining beacon for Apple where iPhone sales actually grew by over 50 percent.