The Indian government has rejected Apple’s proposal to sell refurbished iPhones in the country, but said it was considering the company’s application seeking a waiver of the mandatory local sourcing rule to open its retail stores.
“We would not be in favour of whatever you may call them — used but refashioned, remodelled, updated… used goods,” commerce and industry minister, Nirmala Sitharaman said.
However, she said that it could look at relaxing the 30% local sourcing norm required for all foreign single brand retails stores in India for Apple. This rule is exempt for cutting-technology products.
Last week, the finance ministry’s foreign investment promotion board had opposed such a move, asking the iPhone maker to comply by the rule of selling at least 30% of domestically-soured products, if it wanted to open shop in India. The company’s request was refused after it did not provide any evidence to support its claim of being a “state of the art” technology product. The two bodies of the finance ministry are expected to consult on the matter before coming to a final decision.
Apple has been pushing for cheaper refurbished iPhones and opening branded stores in the country, in order to increase its presence in one of the world’s fastest-growing smartphone markets. India was also the only bright spot in Apple’s sales in the last quarter, with the country recording 56% growth.