Recently, Apple made a request with the Indian government to be allowed to import refurbished iPhones and sell them. Unfortunately for the company, their request has been rejected.
India has the world’s second largest population. However, Apple has just 2% of phone shipments in the country. Many organisations and companies lobbied against the sale of refurbished iPhones, saying that this move would cause a flood of used electronics, leading to more e-waste, faster. The move, said these organisations, would also defeat the government’s Make In India campaign, a program initiated by the current government to promote manufacturing in India.
Samsung, one of Apple’s largest rivals in the mobile space, was one of the companies lobbying against allowing Apple to sell refurbished iPhones in the country. Apple’s products are considered to be very premium in the country, especially because of their cost, which tends to be significantly higher than products from rival companies. Due to a variety of factors, Apple’s products are priced much higher than the actual direct conversion from US Dollars to Indian Rupees, something that isn’t as big an issue with products from other companies.
Apple’s latest iPhone, the iPhone SE, which is their relatively cheaper offering, isn’t doing too well in India either. Apple’s efforts to gain a foothold in the country go further. The company has also requested permission to open their flagship retail stores in India. Currently, Apple products are sold through “Premium Resellers,” who sell Apple products exclusively, and other authorised retailers. There are no stores operated by Apple themselves, as seen in other countries. The decision is still pending on this issue.
Apple is certainly eager to penetrate the country. However, it appears selling refurbished products isn’t an answer. Apple generally prefers not to reduce its prices in order to maintain its premium image, so selling iPhones in India may actually become tougher.Source: Bloomberg
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