Sorry Apple, You Can’t Sell Refurbished iPhones in India: Govt


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Cupertino, California based $300 billion worth Apple has received a huge, rude setback in India. Their plans to sell refurbished iPhones and iPads in India has been quashed by the Indian Govt.

An unnamed Govt. official, most probably from DIPP, has informed Bloomberg that Apple’s request to set up a hub of old, second hand iPhones and iPads in India has been rejected.

Not here, that no official announcement has come out from Indian Government; and Apple too has refused to comment on this matter.

But Apple’s plans to sell refurbished products in India was very important for them, as they are attempting to increase their share of smartphone sales in the country from present 2%; and refurbished phones would have boosted their share.

Earlier this year, we had reported that Apple has specially requested Indian Govt. for the same, as they said, “Apple would like to seek the government’s approval to import and sell its certified pre-owned iPhones in India; manufacture and sell its certified pre-owned iPhones in India,”

Last year, Apple had requested Indian Govt. to allow them to import 1 lakh used iPhones and 2.5 lakh used iPads to sell in India. However, Environment Ministry’s Technical Review Committee (TRC) rejected their attempts, as they feared that such mass scale dumping of old, refurbished phones may damage Indian environment.

If we check Hazardous Wastes Rules 2008, then we will observe that import of such refurbished phones are only allowed for individuals and not companies; besides getting approval & licence from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade.

Besides, Indian Govt. is now strict and vigilant on the amount of e-wastage generated. Recently, they had introduced a new and strictly ‘E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016’, which had made Manufacturer, Dealer, Refurbisher and Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) responsible for the e-waste generated.

We had reported last week that Indian Govt. is considering to relax rules for Apple, so that they can open retail stores in the country. The 30% rule pertaining to procurement of raw materials in order to open retail stores may be relaxed for Apple, as they use some high quality, rare materials which are not available in India. There has been no update on this matter yet.

In an interview with CNBC, Apple CEO Tim Cook had specifically said that they consider India as the next big market for expansion and growth as the 4G revolution and a young crowd will make their brand positioning precise and impactful.

But their plans related with refurbished phones have been stalled as of now; and their only hope is with their plans of retail stores.

Do you think Indian Govt. has done the right thing by stopping Apple from selling their refurbished phones? Share your views right here!

  1. DigitalGalaxy says

    On one side, this is bad becuase refurbish phones are cheap, and cheap phones are needed. On the other side, refurbish phones have a high failure rate, and so keeping them out is good. The e- waste problem will only be solved with advanced recycling facilites. These phones cannot simply be dumped like in China. It is very bad, they must be recycled.

  2. Amey says

    I think its a good decision by Indian govt. ultimately we are restricting the e-waste coming to our country.

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