Apple Inc.’s application to sell refurbished iPhones in India has reportedly been rejected for the second time by the Indian government. This application has received negative responses from all fronts.
The Department of Electronics and Information Technology turned down the application on the grounds that this step would increase the e-waste dump in the country, and that as a policy, the DoE&IT does not support the sale of second hand products. This was supported firmly by the Environment Ministry and the Ministry of Foreign Trade
Even the PMO was involved in this quick decision making. This step would have gone completely against the ‘Make in India’ campaign.
In a statement given to Bloomberg, Sudhir Hasija, chairman of Karbonn Mobiles said “Make in India could turn into Dump in India”. If this application had been accepted, it is needless to say that the ‘snob value’ of an iPhone could potentially kill the market for Android and Windows Phones.
This was Apple’s nth attempt at cracking the Indian smartphone market. While it has its own niche in the country, a population of that size never fails to lure.
An extremely price-sensitive market has not been agreeing with the company’s global success. Apple now owns only 2% of the Indian smartphone market share. The launch of the iPhone SE, priced at Rs. 39,000 is another indicator of how desperately the company wants to tap into this market. The ‘Made in India’ tag and the price tags are hurting the smartphone giants badly.
Perhaps it is time that Tim Cook realises that making in India might just be the only and right move. Regardless, it will be interesting to see what more do they have up their sleeve.