We had earlier reported on how Apple intended to sell refurbished iPhones in India and had sought the permission from the authorities for the same. According to a telecommunications ministry official the Indian authorities have rejected Apple’s request for importing and selling refurbished iPhones, much to the relief of local smartphone manufacturers.
This is apparently the second time the application has been turned down, despite the aggressive pitch by Apple to push it through. Apple has been frantically trying to spike up their market in India which currently stands at just 2 percent of the total market share. Also, Apple has been trying to setup its own retail stores in India, a request which is yet to be entertained by the Ministry of Finance.
Apple wants to have a command over considerable market share in countries like India and China thanks to the economy of scale. As of now, due to the taxes and the import duties iPhones are still very expensive and would be out of the budget for most of the consumers. While we banked on the possibility that iPhone SE would be priced within the Rs 25,000 price bracket it turned out otherwise.
The local manufacturers were worried that cheaper refurbished iPhones would eventually eat up their market share and thus voiced concerns over the same. All said and done it is still not the end of story for Apple which can find other ways to attract potential first time iPhone users, for instance the recently introduced iPhone corporate leasing was a good move. Additionally, they can also come up with better exchange offers for the consumers. That being said, India would still be a tough market to crack with the average smartphone price currently pegged at $135 and expected to drop to $102 in a couple of years.