Apple recently made a proposal to the Indian Government regarding the sale of refurbished iPhone’s in the Indian market. This was a strategic move made by the company to gain traction in a fast-growing and populous, but not very affluent, market. However, the Indian government has refused to allow the company to sell refurbished iPhone’s in the country.
Apple’s market share for smartphones in the country remains small at roughly 2%. The refurbished iPhone’s would have helped the company to target consumers in the budget segment who desire iPhone’s but cannot afford the high priced versions. The move to introduce refurbished models reflects the mindset of the Indian customers who seek higher value for money.
Apple sells refurbished devices, which have been repaired or had parts replaced, in many countries, including the U.S. In some countries, it also offers what it calls certified preowned products, which contain a mix of new and reused components. In India, the company has applied to make and sell certified preowned iPhone’s, according to government officials. Apple is seeking permission to import preowned phones and to refurbish them in India.
Apple has said recently that India is an extremely important market for it. However, the import duties and other consequences lead to its devices being considerably expensive here than in the US. This is one of the major reasons why the company has not been able to capture a significant market share in the country.
Plus, the competition from android devices is pretty tough. With companies such as Micromax, Xiaomi and Vivo jumping in with budget devices that have high end features, Apple is finding it difficult to reach out to customers. The price tag is definitely an issue, but it can be sorted out with refurbished devices.
The reason behind the declining of Apple’s proposal to import and sell refurbished iPhone’s in India is the implication of existing rules in the country which stand against the import of used electronics. Refurbished devices, despite having new components, still qualify as used devices. Irrespective of the fact that the internal components may be completely replaced, the device’s status cannot be changed to be “first-hand”. Due to the regulatory framework in the country, we might not be able to get our hands on refurbished devices.
What do you think? Should the Indian Government allow the import of refurbished iPhone’s to India? Share your views in the comments section below.
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