Want to sell refurbished iPhones, Apple tells Government

Apple plans to set up a facility in the country to renovate used mobiles shipped from China

Written by Amitav Ranjan | New Delhi | Updated: January 29, 2016 7:45 am
Apple, apple india, iPhone, cheap iPhone, iPhone refurbished, apple iphone, apple iphone sale, iphone sales india, apple sales india Earlier request from Apple was rejected by the govt.

Apple Inc has applied for import and sale of refurbished iPhones in India to corner the booming smartphone business. Subsequently, it plans to set up a facility in the country to renovate used mobiles shipped from China.

“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,” says its application dated December 7.

A similar proposition by Apple last year to import one lakh used iPhones and 2.5 lakh iPads to explore “refurbished electrical and electronic equipment” market was turned down by Environment Ministry’s Technical Review Committee (TRC) on July 2 on grounds that it would add to India’s e-waste.

TRC said that refurbished electrical and electronic equipments (EEEs) had shorter functional life and became obsolete quicker, thereby amplifying the country’s e-waste burden. At best, it reasoned, imports that were of less than three year vintage with at least five years of residual life could be allowed.

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Another reason for turning down Apple and other IT firms from bringing in used EEEs is that India does not allow such imports for trading.

Import of e-waste, regulated under the Hazardous Wastes Rules 2008, is allowed only to actual users for reuse, recycling or reprocessing after consent from the ministry and licence from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade.

Though there have been attempts by developed countries to push for a liberal trade in refurbished or remanufactured products, India stands opposed for fear that a relaxation could lead to a deluge of low-quality cheap imports amounting to transfer of waste from the developed to the developing nations.

However, Apple has claimed in its application that its CPO iPhones were not “standard refurbished mobile phones” as they are made by its original equipment manufacturers following the same manufacturing and quality assurance processes as for new devices.

They were not “second hand phones” either as they went through the “same standards of quality and testing” as new ones; carried the same one year warranty; and, bore a new serial number and IMEI number.

Claiming that it maintained high standards of e-waste management and recycling, Apple said that by allowing CPOs — which are as durable as new iPhones — price-conscious India could replace the low-end mobiles, including smartphones, and prevent e-waste generation and landfills.

“Indeed, the presence of low-end mobile phones constitutes a risk for the environment given their current levels of quality and durability. Apple designs durable products that last for many years. Designing durable mobile phones helps reduce electronic waste,” it contended.

The San Francisco-based firm did not elaborate its business plan or sales targets in the application but claimed that the “quantities to be imported would vary in hundreds of thousands units on a yearly basis”.

As for manufacturing CPO iPhones, it said that the “initial scope would be in low hundreds of thousands units on a yearly basis”.

“This also depends on other external factors such as the number and availability of defective units coming from China, China’s regulation on exporting defective units and the economics of CPO manufacturing in India. After approval from the government of India, such a project could be established, with all factors falling in place, within a period of 24 months,” it said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook last September during his Silicon Valley tour. He had invited Apple to set up a manufacturing base and Cook had responded positively.

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  1. J
    J G
    Jan 29, 2016 at 9:23 pm
    India doesnt need such phones and other such used EEgadgets
    Reply
  2. P
    Post Stupid
    Apr 12, 2016 at 2:12 am
    i love applelt;br/gt;
    Reply
  3. P
    Post Stupid
    Apr 12, 2016 at 2:10 am
    Reply
  4. P
    Post Stupid
    Apr 12, 2016 at 2:13 am
    Reply
  5. R
    Rajiv
    Jan 29, 2016 at 7:12 am
    Apple has a good business case as refurbished phones would make brisk business among the tech-savvy, b-oriented yet price-conscious people. However the government needs to take care about not only the e-waste, but local manufacturing will be affected if discarded iPhones from China are shipped and sold here at equivalent prices.
    Reply
  6. M
    madsid
    Jan 29, 2016 at 8:16 am
    iLovda idea of Apple..!
    Reply
  7. S
    SanjayG
    Jan 29, 2016 at 5:24 am
    Just to please Apple we must not make a new law which will bring waste from all countries into India. And when we talk of refurbished phones then we do not hold this business in highest esteem , I am really shocked to read that Apple as a premium phone manufacturer will resort to something like refurbishment. If Steve Jobs were alive and if any Apple guy would even think of doing refurbishment to their phones then he would not remain the company for another moment. And if our PM has met Tim Cook then what? was that meeting to facilitate refurbished phones business of Apple?
    Reply
  8. C
    CS
    Jan 29, 2016 at 1:12 am
    Apple will eventually be allowed to take this eminently sensible business decision...... after paying the requisite lanjaa to the powers that be. I hope they report the lanjaa in their US tax returns, and thereby identify the beneficiaries for the enlightenment of the Indian public!
    Reply
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