Apple Wants To Sell Millions Of Refurbished iPhones In India

According to reports, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is looking to import huge amounts of older generation iPhones to India to be reconditioned and sold locally.

A person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg the move is part of a large list of requests Apple is making to the Indian government:

The company has asked to bring in used iPhones to be refurbished and sold in India, saying it will have the manufacturing infrastructure needed to make them compliant with quality standards, said the person, who asked not to be named as the matter is private. The request is included in a list of concessions submitted by Apple to a panel of government officials that includes a 15-year tax holiday, the person said.

Apple attempted a similar measure not too long ago, but was rebuffed by Indian regulators. India is worried that such a move would open the door for many other electronics makers to import used devices. That influx could bring up quality control concerns, not to mention hamper local manufacturing, which the country is pushing in a big way amid its “Make In India” campaign.

If allowed, the used iPhones would almost certainly be a huge hit in the country:

“These phones still have life in them,” said Anshul Gupta, Mumbai-based research director at Gartner Inc. He estimates that 70 percent of phones sold in India go for under $200. “In India and other emerging markets, buyers cannot afford the flagship model so opt for older generation iPhones whose prices drop.”

Indeed, the global success of competing Android-powered worldwide has been driven by price as much as anything. If refurbished iPhones can compete on price, they could give Apple a major foothold in developing markets and lead to potentially lucrative services revenues down the line.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) fell $0.08 (-0.06%) in premarket trading Monday. Year-to-date, AAPL has gained 11.45%, versus a 2.60% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

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