Indian government turns down Apple request to import used iPhones for sale, report says

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 2016
The Indian government has reportedly denied Apple's application to import and sell refurbished iPhones, in a step that may hinder the company's ability to gain traction in the cost-sensitive local smartphone market.




The supposed decision was shared by an unnamed official from the telecommunications ministry on Tuesday, according to Bloomberg. The claims have yet to be substantiated and the Indian government has not offered an official statement on the matter.

Apple made a similar request in 2015, but had that one turned down by the environment ministry.

Apple's attempt at importing used phones was strongly opposed by major players in the local smartphone industry, including Intex, Micromax, and South Korea's Samsung, which leads in device sales. The worry was that allowing used iPhones in would trigger a flood of used smartphones in general, and also defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Make in India" campaign, intended to spur local manufacturing.

Despite some gains in 2015, Apple has had a tough time in India. The company controls under 2 percent of the Indian smartphone market, something attributable to the high price of iPhones in a place where most phones are less than $150. Until earlier this year, the iPhone 5c and even the iPhone 4S were still on sale in the region in a bid to offer anything cost-competitive.

New iPhones are largely out of reach for the average Indian. Even the iPhone SE, often seen as a "budget" alternative to the iPhone 6s, still starts at 39,000 rupees, or about $587.

In a Monday TV interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook suggested the company might turn Indian sales around thanks to LTE deployments, and a belief that India's younger population wants "the best" products available.
«134

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 67
    damonfdamonf Posts: 217member
    sog35 said:
    Cook needs to build some phones in India. 

    That would be a smart move and give Apple more leverage against China.

    But the Chinese could then say, "You move any iPhone manufacturing out of China into India, you can kiss iTunes Movies, etc. in China goodbye".  The problem is with India's protectionism.  Rather than get their population growth under control like China did with its "one child per family" policy, India thinks it can get the rest of the world to solve all of its current and future unemployment issues (just like Trump plans to force Apple to bring manufacturing back to the U.S.).  Maybe the U.S. should slap some tariffs on India's "remote IT services and support" sector.  That might get them to realize they can't play one-sided (all take, no give) in the world economy.
    edited May 2016 bkkcanuckrob53mike1stevehbanchopatchythepirate
  • Reply 2 of 67
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,182member
    sog35 said:
    Cook needs to build some phones in India. 

    That would be a smart move and give Apple more leverage against China.
    Sounds like a good idea to me
    latifbp
  • Reply 3 of 67
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,505member

    Mm ...

    Why not refurbished the phones in India?

    cnocbuipscooter63damonfcalipatchythepirate
  • Reply 4 of 67
    bkkcanuckbkkcanuck Posts: 854member

    Mm ...

    Why not refurbished the phones in India?

    They would still have to import the used phones..... otherwise they have had to sell the new ones first.

    I always knew there is something wonky with India with regards to importation of electronics.  It is funny seeing Indians in a hotel here, I remember seeing tour groups of Indians and they would each of purchased one TV (or maybe someone else has and is using the tour company to import) - and you will see 50+ TVs ready to go to the airport to go back to india with the tour group.
  • Reply 5 of 67
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,505member
    bkkcanuck said:

    Mm ...

    Why not refurbished the phones in India?

    They would still have to import the used phones..... otherwise they have had to sell the new ones first.
    I suspect that Apple and India  could cut a deal to remove tariffs on used phones shipped to India for refurbishment in India ... And sold wherever ...

    edited May 2016
  • Reply 6 of 67
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,875member
    bkkcanuck said:

    Mm ...

    Why not refurbished the phones in India?

    They would still have to import the used phones..... otherwise they have had to sell the new ones first.

    I always knew there is something wonky with India with regards to importation of electronics.  It is funny seeing Indians in a hotel here, I remember seeing tour groups of Indians and they would each of purchased one TV (or maybe someone else has and is using the tour company to import) - and you will see 50+ TVs ready to go to the airport to go back to india with the tour group.
    I bet they are ticked off when they get home plug them in and find none of the shows they saw in the USA are on ;)
  • Reply 7 of 67
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,505member
    I bet they are ticked off when they get home plug them in and find none of the shows they saw in the USA are on ;)

    'I love Lucy' reruns!

    jbdragon
  • Reply 8 of 67
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,763member
    Many good comments by others. India has growing population of younger with money to buy expensive items, just like Chinese growing upper middle class. USA should put pressure on India to be bit flexible for what it gains from USA's support to their IT services. India can loose lot with out IT services money directly(support) or in-directly(H1 visa). But, problem may arise when other phone manufacturers are allowed their re-furbished phones to sell in India at $100 and under. Might work if India allows Apple to sell re-furbished phones/Macbook refurbished in India or Apple put small but needed IT shop against allowing import of re-furbished iPhone..
    edited May 2016
  • Reply 9 of 67
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,962member
    There are more iPhone sales in Vietnam or Cambodia than in India even with the same or less income per capita and population < 10% in those 2 South East Asia countries. The Indian's shopping mentality is not the same as Chinese or South East Asian. Cook didn't understand that. If he wants iPhone sale to take off in India, price it at $200 for low tier SE and $400 for iPhone 6S.
  • Reply 10 of 67
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,879member
    This was a dumb -- indeed, condescending -- move by Apple to begin with. Compete there with your good stuff at the best possible prices, and let the chips fall where they may. If you can't, go compete somewhere else.

    The Indian government did the right thing.
    gatorguycnocbui
  • Reply 11 of 67
    bkkcanuckbkkcanuck Posts: 854member
    bkkcanuck said:
    They would still have to import the used phones..... otherwise they have had to sell the new ones first.
    I suspect that Apple and India  could cut a deal to remove tariffs on used phones shipped to India for refurbishment in India ... And sold wherever ...

    And how would that help them with selling phones in India?  If it is not going to help them then must refurb them in locations that make the most financial and technical sense... which is likely not India.

  • Reply 12 of 67
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,505member
    fallenjt said:
    There are more iPhone sales in Vietnam or Cambodia than in India even with the same or less income per capita and population < 10% in those 2 South East Asia countries. The Indian's shopping mentality is not the same as Chinese or South East Asian. Cook didn't understand that. If he wants iPhone sale to take off in India, price it at $200 for low tier SE and $400 for iPhone 6S.

    Wouldn't the pricing you suggest (or better) be possible for used iPhones (all current models) refurbished in India and sold in India?



  • Reply 13 of 67
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,879member
    bkkcanuck said:

    Mm ...

    Why not refurbished the phones in India?

    They would still have to import the used phones..... otherwise they have had to sell the new ones first.

    I always knew there is something wonky with India with regards to importation of electronics.  It is funny seeing Indians in a hotel here, I remember seeing tour groups of Indians and they would each of purchased one TV (or maybe someone else has and is using the tour company to import) - and you will see 50+ TVs ready to go to the airport to go back to india with the tour group.
    Silly post. I don't know where you see this, or what the clientele is in the places you hang out. TVs cost about the same price in India -- or can be even lower -- than they are at a Best Buy here. For example, a 43-inch LG LED TV (say, LG 43LF540A 43 Inch Full HD LED TV) can be had for INR36,000, i.e., less than $550.
  • Reply 14 of 67
    croffordcrofford Posts: 41member
    fallenjt said:
    There are more iPhone sales in Vietnam or Cambodia than in India even with the same or less income per capita and population < 10% in those 2 South East Asia countries. The Indian's shopping mentality is not the same as Chinese or South East Asian. Cook didn't understand that. If he wants iPhone sale to take off in India, price it at $200 for low tier SE and $400 for iPhone 6S.
    Why $200?  I bet they could sell even more if they were $20.  You're absolutely correct, Tim doesn't understand.   
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 15 of 67
    wdowellwdowell Posts: 207member
    The abundance of ignorance regarding India's regulations regarding foreign companies is clear in this thread! (and understandably so)

    Let India operate the way they want to. The country, as a whole, remains sensitive to international interference and influence, for perfectly legitimate reasons. 



  • Reply 16 of 67
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,505member
    bkkcanuck said:
    bkkcanuck said:
    They would still have to import the used phones..... otherwise they have had to sell the new ones first.
    I suspect that Apple and India  could cut a deal to remove tariffs on used phones shipped to India for refurbishment in India ... And sold wherever ...

    And how would that help them with selling phones in India?  If it is not going to help them then must refurb them in locations that make the most financial and technical sense... which is likely not India.


    ???

    1. India certainly has the talent to refurbish iPhones
    2. Refurbished-in-India iPhones could sell in India at tariff-free prices
    3. Apple has already made high profit and recouped R&D, etc. on these iPhones from their initial sale
    4. Apple & India resellers could sell these refurbs at a lower price and still make acceptable profit margins
    5. Encourages many new customers as entrants to the Apple ecosystem
    6. India customers get reasonable choice to buy the best phone/ecosystem
    7. India gets jobs & re-manufacturing industry

    Sounds like a win/win/win to me!


    damonfcali
  • Reply 17 of 67
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,804member
    The US government should retaliate by increasing tariffs on imported drugs and textiles from India. The Indians can't have it both ways.
    damonf
  • Reply 18 of 67
    sog35 said:
    Cook needs to build some phones in India. 

    That would be a smart move and give Apple more leverage against China.
    That makes no sense.  The hardware manufacturing and assembly are located in close proximity between Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Shenzhen.  Indian operations means additional transport costs vs what is in place now.  Not to mention the decades of expertise developed in Shenzhen is replaced for what?  Cheaper labor?

    Those idiotic socialists in India are playing that age old import substitution card again.  The people these policies hurt the most are their own population as the local phones would surely be mediocre by comp to the iPhone, and iPhone prices would be cost prohibitive.
    damonf
  • Reply 19 of 67
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,805member
    sog35 said:
    fallenjt said:
    There are more iPhone sales in Vietnam or Cambodia than in India even with the same or less income per capita and population < 10% in those 2 South East Asia countries. The Indian's shopping mentality is not the same as Chinese or South East Asian. Cook didn't understand that. If he wants iPhone sale to take off in India, price it at $200 for low tier SE and $400 for iPhone 6S.
    dumbest thing I've read in a while.

    So you want Apple to lose money on every single phone they sell in India?

    Isn't it Mr. Cook himself promoting the idea that India may be their next big market? 
    edited May 2016 latifbp
  • Reply 20 of 67
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,752member
    This was a dumb -- indeed, condescending -- move by Apple to begin with. Compete there with your good stuff at the best possible prices, and let the chips fall where they may. If you can't, go compete somewhere else.

    The Indian government did the right thing.
    This is nonsense. When I had an issue with the power button on my iPhone 5 I got the phone replaced at an Apple Store. It was a refurbished phone but looked like brand new. I've sold many an Apple device on Gazelle always in mint condition. There's nothing wrong with selling refurbished devices in order to get into an emerging market at a lower price. This is just India practicing protectionism and favoritism. It will come back to bite them in the ass eventually.
    suddenly newtoncaliradster360
Sign In or Register to comment.