Indian manufacturers coalition hitting against Apple’s plan to sell used iPhones in country
While Apple sells relatively expensive smartphones, it does want to pry open another avenue of sales growth: India, a country with low per capita income. With the iPhone SE selling for more than a third of an Indian’s average annual income and total market share at two percent, the company is asking the government for permission to import and export used products for sale in the country.
But the Mobile and Communications Council, a committee formed by manufacturers with large presences in India like Micromax, Intex and Samsung, is against the idea.
Karbonn’s chairman said that the government’s program, Make in India, that encourages corporations to bring manufacturing jobs to the country, “could turn into Dump in India.” Many OEMs and ODMs like Foxconn are mapping out plans to build factories in India — they could stop plans or even follow Apple’s lead instead if the company’s strategy proves viable.
“Why even consider allowing import of used phones when import of other used goods such as cars are precluded by 300 percent duty levies?” asked Ravinder Zutshi, chairman of the council.
Apple, though, has been ramping up its Renew program in the hopes of making the most out of recycled devices: recovering metals and entire components and eventually using them in the production of new devices. Apple’s application to the government lists an eventual goal of setting up a facility in India dedicated to refurbishment.
But that’s only a possibility and the application’s approval is far from a sure thing Apple had previously gotten a similar import/export application rejected last year.