The Indian government has officially refused Apple’s proposal to sell refurbished phones in the country. In a press conference, Nirmala Sitharaman, commerce and industry minister, said that the government is not in favor of any company selling used phones in the country, irrespective of their certification.
During his visit to India earlier this month, Tim Cook had expressed his great interest in selling refurbished iPhones in India, as it would allow Apple to be more price competitive in the price sensitive Indian smartphone market. The CEO had also gone to great lengths to explain how a refurbished iPhone is not a second hand iPhone and that it comes with its own warranty.
This is the second blow to Apple’s plans in India. Just last week, the Indian government did not approve Apple’s request to grant it an exception in the 30% local sourcing norms that would have allowed the company to open its direct stores in the country. The company in its application said that the technology used in its product was cutting edge that was not available in India and asked for an exception on that basis.
It was initially believed that Apple would be allowed to set up its own stores in the country as the DIPF was on the verge of giving the company the necessary approval, but the finance ministry decided to intervene at the last moment and change the decision. A discussion between the company and the Indian government on this matter is still pending, which will finally decide whether Apple’s direct stores are coming to India or not.