Apple may be a popular handset brand in India, but the Indian government has reportedly refused to succumb to the charm of US’s most valued company. It is learnt that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government has said a firm ‘no’ to assembling of refurbished iPhones in India which could have made the subcontinent a dumping ground for used iPhones, leading to serious environmental issues… 

NEW DELHI, MAY 22, 2017: Amidst reports that Apple Inc. has started selling India-assembled iPhone SE in the domestic market, the Indian government has rejected the US’s most-valued company’s demand to assemble and sell refurbished phones in India. Government sources say as India does not want to become a “dumping ground” for used iPhones, which may major cause environmental problems, it has rejected Apple’s proposal to manufacture refurbished iPhones in India.

After assembling of iPhone SE, Apple was keen on selling its refurbished models of iPhone 6 and 6S which would have generated a lot of demand in the Indian market. Refurbished iPhones are smartphones bought back by Apple, which are then tested and certified by the company and are later sold at reduced prices with a 1-year warranty. All  refurbished iPhone models comes with a brand new battery, new outer shell and a new white box.

Apple had sought permission from the government to import used iPhones for refurbishing. It had argued that refurbishing exercise would generate jobs in India and will also add to export earnings as these refurbished iPhones will be sold in other markets.

Government sources say the Centre has rejected this demand as it does not want to open the Pandora’s box as allowing imports of used iPhones would have led to dumping of e-waste in India and also caused environmental hazards. Today Indian mobile market is the largest consumer of smartphones, and availability of cheaper refurbished iPhones would have meant more and more imports of used iPhones resulting in dumping and generation of e-waste.

While Indian government is keen on seeing Apple Inc. start a full scale manufacturing in India which is also fastest-growing market for iPhones, the US company is bargaining hard. Many of Apple’s exhaustive list of demands, which include duty exemptions on manufacturing and repair units, components, capital equipment including parts and consumables for smartphone manufacturing and service/repair for a period of 15 years, has already been rejected by the government.

Apple has already started assembling its popular iPhone SE in India which is being done by its Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron Corp in its Bengaluru plant. It is learnt that Apple is going to expand its manufacturing in India for which its manufacturing partner has applied for permission to expand its plant. But this latest development of not allowing assembly of refurbished iPhones could come as a set back for the company.

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