Indian government rejects Apple request to sell refurbished iPhones in India

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The Indian government has rejected an application by tech giant Apple to sell refurbished iPhones in the country. The company was planning to import pre-owned iPhones, that it’s buying back from users in the US to allow them to upgrade, and then sell them to price-conscious Indian customers.

According to a Bloomberg report, Apple’s application was turned down following opposition from rival Android smartphone companies .The opposition warned that accepting Apple’s proposal would cause a flood of used electronics in the market, interfering with their own sales, as well as defeating the purpose of the entire “Make in India” movement.

In addition, The Times of India reports that electronic waste may also be a factor behind the decision. The large-scale sale of refurbished iPhones would likely result in a rise in e-waste, as the phones would be nearing the end of their lifetime at the time of import.

The decision is definitely a setback to Apple, that has been looking to crack into new markets as its sales numbers dip. India is a tough market for the tech giant, as most Indian consumers are unlikely to spend the sky-high prices that Apple marks for its smartphones. Refurbished iPhones sold at a cheaper rate would cater to the market’s desire to own the prestige symbol, while not having to compromise on economic value.