Indian smartphone sellers fear iPhone 'snob value' as Apple plans to sell used handsets

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in iPhone
Apple's application to sell used iPhones in India is reportedly being fought by executives with leading vendors and manufacturers, who are worried that it could jeopardize local industry by opening the door to used imports as a whole.




A newly-established lobbying organization, the Mobile and Communications Council, recently sent a letter to the Indian government opposing Apple's application, according to Bloomberg. The Council's members include local firms Intex and Micromax, and South Korea's Samsung, which leads in Indian smartphone sales. Apple is a minor player in the country, holding less than a 2 percent marketshare.

Apple's application is currently in the middle of inter-ministerial discussion, said Asha Nangia, a director from the Indian government's Department of Electronics & Information Technology.

Used iPhones may be essential for Apple to make any sort of headway in India, since most phones in the country cost less than $150. Even Apple's latest "budget" device -- the iPhone SE -- starts at $399 back in the U.S. Until earlier this year, Apple was keeping the iPhone 4S and 5c on sale precisely to reach more Indian shoppers.

Opponents of Apple's plan point out that it could undermine Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Make in India" campaign, designed to encourage local manufacturing, since firms could simply flood the market with used imports. One seller said locals fear Apple's "snob value" will lead Indian consumers to choose the iPhone, even priced above $150, over locally-made handsets.

Critics have also invoked environmental concerns, suggesting that batteries and screens from used phones could exacerbate India's serious e-waste issue. Apple has promised to set up facilities to refurbish phones, but that might not matter if other firms are allowed to import used phones and can't or won't set up the same infrastructure.

Even if Apple can't sell used iPhones, it may be able to improve overall sales by establishing its first official outlets in the country. The company still needs approval, but is already said to be hunting for real estate, including a flagship space between 15,000 and 20,000 square feet.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 425member
    If anyone on this planet believes that Samsung is concerned about the environmental implications of used iPhones in India, come on down to Brooklyn...there's a great bridge here that I'd love to sell.
    edited April 2016 jbdragoncaliargonautjony0latifbp
  • Reply 2 of 13
    This is protectionism at its best. So the people of India are to be forced to purchase inferior phones, because Apple needs a permit to import used phones?

    To the extent that products are not made in India that could be, it is rules like these that prevent it from happening.
    radster360calijony0
  • Reply 3 of 13
    Perish the thought of giving Indian consumers the choice of buying an iPhone: they might just choose it over their existing Indian-made phones!
    calinolamacguypscooter63jbdragonjony0
  • Reply 4 of 13
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Let me get this straight, 3 iKnockoff manufacturers are pissing their pants and making excuses about why iPhone batteries and screens are bad for the environment?
    You would think these guys don't make phones or anything like an iPhone.

    Micromax Intex Samsung



    of course the worst copycat wannabe offender had to stick their nose in someone else's business to stay relevant. And why doesn't "Make in India" apply to Sammy?

    They hear the storm coming is what's happening. I say Apple open retail stores, recycling plants and R&D facilities. Make India part of Apple. I don't believe Apple should be an "American company" no longer.
    edited April 2016 argonautjbdragon
  • Reply 5 of 13
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,589member
    Samsung is such a fk'n scumbag of a company. And the morons in our legal system reinforced the thumbing of their nose at the rest of the world when they should have been bitch slapped into oblivion.
    latifbp
  • Reply 6 of 13
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,276member
    This is the kind of problem every company wants.
  • Reply 7 of 13
    joshajosha Posts: 901member
    I find this hard to believe, a lower cost iPhone for all those not so rich people in India !
    A used iPhone is much better than many of the current android phones.

    Now I know why my 9 month old iPhone 5c only has a $100 trade in value.
    No problem here though, my iPhone 5c will probably serve me for 3+ more years.
    cali
  • Reply 8 of 13
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Made in India, from what I've seen, only thing made in India is Graft.. .
    Protectionists policies in India basically mean they're buying shit products for much more than they should.

    Too bad, Indian are great and the country would be doing better if the most educated folks there didn't leave because the
    country is so dysfunctional (makes the USA look good, but only because they suck worse).
    edited April 2016 argonaut
  • Reply 9 of 13
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,658member

    So the completion is worry that a use product will out sell a new product. I though all Apple phone were worse than the what the competition had to sell. Yeah used cars out sell new cars, but new car sales continue on in spite of all the cheaper used cars you can buy, this is nothing new.

    These guys are so afraid if Apple can match a brand new phone price with Apple two year old model that people will choose 2 old technology over current days android technology.

    This just proves may point, India just buys what is cheap not what is better.

    I just find it interesting Apple has to ask permission to sell refurbish phone. In the US it happens all the time as long as it label as refurbished.

    Face it no one wants to build in India, their infrastructure sucks, they have brown outs daily that is great for keeping a factory running.

    calijbdragon
  • Reply 10 of 13
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,172member
    josha said:
    I find this hard to believe, a lower cost iPhone for all those not so rich people in India !
    A used iPhone is much better than many of the current android phones.

    Now I know why my 9 month old iPhone 5c only has a $100 trade in value.
    No problem here though, my iPhone 5c will probably serve me for 3+ more years.
    Except the FBI can easily hack your iPhone 5C that lacks TouchID and the Secure Enclave!
  • Reply 11 of 13

    I think India will be a very, very challenging market for Apple. I really hope they can pull it off.

  • Reply 12 of 13
    spaceraysspacerays Posts: 116member
     :D

    Samsung and the likes are afraid people will gravitate more towards Apple with the lower prices. This will be fun.
  • Reply 13 of 13
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    cali said:
    Let me get this straight, 3 iKnockoff manufacturers are pissing their pants and making excuses about why iPhone batteries and screens are bad for the environment?
    You would think these guys don't make phones or anything like an iPhone.

    Micromax Intex Samsung

    of course the worst copycat wannabe offender had to stick their nose in someone else's business to stay relevant. And why doesn't "Make in India" apply to Sammy?

    They hear the storm coming is what's happening. I say Apple open retail stores, recycling plants and R&D facilities. Make India part of Apple. I don't believe Apple should be an "American company" no longer.
    Samsung have had a significant research and manufacturing presence in India for the last 20 years.  They have had two phone OSs made there - Bada and Tizen, involving many thousands of engineers.

    Then there is the relevant factor that they actually manufacture phones in India:

    NEW DELHI: Samsung Electronics is considering setting up its third manufacturing plant in India, a move that would consolidate the South Korean company's hold on a key market and provide a big push to the government's 'Make in India' campaign. The company, among India's largest multinationals, is scouting for land in Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat for a new plant to make electronic goods, including smartphones, people familiar with the matter said.

    Samsung, in India for 20 years, has two factories - in Noida and Tamil Nadu, where it makes 90% of the handsets it sells in the country - and three R&D facilities. It employs some 45,000 employees.

    http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-03-06/news/59844514_1_samsung-electronics-new-manufacturing-facility-smartphones

    So in this instance, they have the moral high ground.  From the perspective of the Indian government, Samsung are the good guys and Apple are attempting to freeload with a tactic some might consider to be dumping.



    edited April 2016
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