India puts a stop to Apple’s efforts of bringing used iPhones into the budget-friendly market
If Apple wants to prove Wall Street wrong, overturn tumbling profits, raise iPhone sales numbers again, and recover major lost investors, it definitely needs big wins in the world’s two largest handheld markets.
Especially in India, where the industry’s growth potential far exceeds that of saturated China and the US, with Android OEMs however the main beneficiaries of local mobile tech expansion, as the vast majority of consumers remain strapped for cash or simply unwilling to spend small fortunes on new iPhones.
There are of course ways to boost Apple’s brand recognition and box-office performance around those parts, including the recently authorized construction of official retail stores, and SE discounts unlikely to materialize for reasons we don’t get.
But the icing on the India-penetration cake were supposed to be refurbished iPhones, which the telecommunications ministry apparently thwarted following strong, vocal opposition from a coalition of iRivals, headlined by Micromax, Intex, Samsung and Karbonn.
Their number one complaint was that, across other industries, pre-owned foreign products are effectively banned by absurdly high taxes, and ditching or lowering the levies traditionally imposed on car manufacturers and so on would not only be unfair but essentially turn the “Make in India” program into “Dump in India.”
The arguments must have been compelling enough to deny the local smartphone market massive short-term growth for the long-term prospect of getting even more companies like Lenovo, Xiaomi, Huawei, OnePlus and Asus to invest large sums of money into India-based factories and R&D facilities.
Who knows, maybe Apple will follow suit someday if it truly wants to crack every single important tech-centric region.