Tim Cook keen to sell Indians second-hand iPhones

In an interview with one of the media channels during his India visit, Tim Cook revealed that he is keen on getting the necessary approval so that Apple can start selling pre-owned iPhone in the country. The Indian government had earlier rejected Apple’s application to sell refurbished iPhones in the country.

The Indian government has been promoting companies to manufacture products in India through its ‘Make in India’ program, and allowing Apple to sell pre-owned iPhones in India will go against that program. It will also lead many other smartphone companies to follow suit.
“We want to bring back pre-owned phone to a pristine condition for a user in the Indian market, we may have to bring in some phones to sort of fuel the supply chain and the process will be done in the country,” Cook said in an interview to a TV channel.
The government is in-principle against allowing import and sale of second-hand phones in India to prevent dumping of hazardous electronic waste, said a person familiar with the matter. But it might take a more favourable view of the proposal if Apple agrees to manufacture in India. "Local manufacturing will be the thrust of the PM's message to Cook," the person said.

Cook appeared cagey on his near-term local production moves. "It (local manufacturing) is something we will look over time," the top executive said in a newspaper interview. The government is keen for Apple to begin manufacturing in India as it would give the 'Make in India' initiative a massive boost. This, especially as Apple's major production partner Foxconn is already manufacturing for other brands out of its factories in the country. The Taiwanese company drew up aggressive expansion plans after the government rejigged the duty structure in 2015 to make it cheaper to manufacture phones in India than importing them.

Cook also spoke about the company opening its direct retail stores in the country. He said that while Apple has applied for the rights and are working closely with the government on this, the company is yet to receive the final go ahead from the Indian government. Reports indicate that the Indian government has waived the 30 percent local sourcing of component norms for Apple and will give it the go ahead to open its retail stores in the country in the coming days or weeks.

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