With its staggering population of almost 1.3 billion people, India — much like China with its population of just OVER 1.35 billion — is perhaps one of the world’s most up-and-coming markets for eager and tech-hungry smartphone buyers.
And most of these big-name manufacturers, for their part, know this truth like the back of their hands. To that tune, the biggest players in the smartphone-making business — Apple, Samsung, and Lenovo, in particular — have already been investing rather heavily by trying to postulate a position to infiltrate the vast and hardly touched Indian market.
One of Apple’s plans for India was to solicit cheaper, refurbished iPhones to the country’s customers; however it appears as though that game plan might have failed prior to launch, as the Indian government on Tuesday officially rejected Apple’s application to solicit renovated iPhones in the country.
According to Bloomberg, the decision to decline Apple’s application was revealed first by an official with the Indian telecommunications ministry.
Oddly enough, though, this wouldn’t be the first time Apple has had its application turned down by the Indian government. Back in 2015, India’s Environmental ministry reportedly turned down the exact same application from the Cupertino-company.
It appears as if the reason behind Apple’s application being turned down has to do primarily with the strong opposition from several other local and international smartphone vendors — namely Intex, Micromax, and Samsung, among others. The concern among these tech-companies is that an influx of used iPhones in the country will ultimately lead to an over saturation of used smartphones in general.
Also, for what it’s worth, India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, recently launched a “Made in India” campaign. This campaign intended to encourage the home field manufacturing of goods, would obviously mean that Apple is going against the grain, right?
**It should be noted, when making your assessment of this situation, that Samsung is currently the number one smartphone vendor in India.. Just think about that one for a few seconds..**
In any event, unfortunately the prospect of a ‘newer’ iPhone — with their $600, 700+ price tags — is far too out-of-reach for most Indian customers. And even though Apple’s iPhone SE was, at least in part, created to appeal to a broader market of cost conscious customers in developing markets; due to taxes and fees and Indian government surcharges, the “budget friendly,” 4-inch iPhone is still priced at a whopping 39,000 rupees (or $587).
Even still, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, suggested on Monday that his company could still shift Indian sales in its favor, adding that, “India’s younger population wants the best products available.”
In the interim, though, Apple clearly still has its fair share of fire-rimmed hoops to jump through in order to realize its flourishing Indian aspirations.
What are your thoughts about Apple’s application to sell refurbished iPhones in India being turned down? Is the justification substantiated, or are other smartphone manufacturers worried that Apple might come along with its cheap, refurbished iPhones and up-end the market? Let us know what you think in the comments!
Featured photo © Panchal Nirav | Dreamstime.com