Technology giant Apple has brought back its idea of revamping used iPhones and selling it in the Indian market as it negotiates with the government for concessions to start production in the country, Bloomberg reported. The company has asked the government to allow it to bring in used iPhones to be refurbished and sold in India, saying, refurbishing will require minimum manufacturing infrastructure and little technology transfer.
“These phones still have life in them. In India and other emerging markets, buyers cannot afford the flagship model so opt for older generation iPhones whose prices drop,” Anshul Gupta, a Mumbai-based research director at Gartner, was quoted as saying by the online publication.
The request was included in a list of concessions submitted by Apple to a panel of government officials that includes a 15-year tax holiday.
Apple’s last attempt at such a license in 2016, was shot down by the government, citing that accepting such move would open the floodgates to used electronics and undermine the ‘Make in India’ program.
“The government is concerned and will look to framing policy to ensure that India does not become a used electronics dumping ground,” said Gupta.
According to Bloomberg, Apple sold just 2.5 million phones last year, about 2 percent of the market, and a fraction of the 750 million smartphones are estimated to be sold by 2020.
If permission granted, the iPhone maker will become the first company allowed to import and sell used electronics in the country. Apple also assured the government that its certified pre-owned program would meet environmental and quality requirements and also be open for third party-audits and checks.
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