In addition to seeking permission for setting up Apple Stores in the India, Apple has also filed an application to sell refurbished iPhones in India. But this application has hit a roadblock of sorts with the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) said to be opposing Apple’s move, ET reports. DeitY has expressed concerns that bringing second-hand devices to India will lead to an increase in e-waste. Also Read - iPad Mini for 2021 to ditch fat bezels, could bring along new Apple Pencil MiniAlso Read - iOS 4 is now available again on modern iPhones, complete with Home button: How to get it
DeitY has reportedly written to the environment ministry and the Director General of Foreign Trade stating that it doesn’t approve of Apple’s plans to import used iPhones and sell them in India. The department feels that importing second-hand devices to India and selling them locally will eventually lead to an increase of e-waste. Also Read - Apple originally planned to launch new MacBook at WWDC 2021, but didn’t: details here
“We are fine with importing the components, refurbishing them locally for exports” because it would generate employment and contribute to forex earnings, a senior official was quoted. The issue being raised is that selling these refurbished smartphones will not only increase e-waste, but it is also against the principles of PM Narendra Modi’s Make in India initiative.
Apple’s plans for India includes importing and selling certified pre-owned (CPO) iPhones. It plans to import used iPhones and refurbish them in India itself. Apple’s partner Foxconn is expected to help with the refurbishing bit in India, and the contract manufacturer has plans to open multiple manufacturing units in the country.
It is important to note that refurbished iPhones doesn t mean really old or second-hand devices. Used iPhones that have been returned to Apple are put through the same quality tests as new iPhones and any part not up to the mark is replaced with brand new ones. These units get a new serial number, a new IMEI number, as well as the standard one-year warranty.
The issue with environment aside, selling refurbished iPhones in India could turn out to be a masterstroke for Apple. In a price conscious market like India, refurbished iPhones are likely to be a huge hit among people who either cannot afford a new iPhone, or those looking to replace their low-end iPhone with a more current model.