Samsung & Local Group Call Upon the Indian Government to Reject Apple's Application to Sell used iPhones
Apple is seeking permission to become the first company allowed to import and sell used phones in India, its second attempt in as many years. This time, the stakes are higher and a growing number of industry executives are fighting the move, warning government officials in private that it'll open the floodgates to electronic waste, jeopardize local players, and make a farce of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Make in India program to encourage local manufacturing.
Apple's latest attempt to crack the Indian smartphone market -- by selling used phones -- is being met by a wall of resistance. Sudhir Hasija, chairman of Karbonn Mobiles, who sells about 1.7 million smartphones a month in India rants that the "Make in India could turn into the Dump in India."
With Apple applying to open Apple Stores in India, panic is setting in amongst the local players who have enjoyed a market that Apple doesn't dominate in.
According to a new BloombergBusiness report, Apple's application has gone to so-called inter-ministerial discussion, said Asha Nangia, a director in the Department of Electronics & Information Technology. That adds a layer of bureaucracy to a process that's far from certain. The government could go either way, though it's encountering far greater local opposition than the first time around.
Even Apple's latest iPhone SE is priced too high for the average consumer in India where phone prices could be found in the $150 range and lower. This is why Apple wants permission to be able to have market entry prices through refurbished iPhones.
The opposition is pounding the table saying that Apple will damage the environment because destroyed iPhones produce toxic materials.
To get around these hysterical arguments, Apple produced a video about Liam, their intelligent recycling robot, proving how responsible Apple is with the environment. Apple will likely also end up powering the new Apple Stores with renewable energy as they have around the world. So the environmental argument isn't one that will be easily won against Apple.
Apple says that "True innovation means considering what happens to a product at every stage of its life cycle. Liam disassembles your iPhone when it's no longer functioning, so the materials inside can live on."
The group opposing Apple's application to sell use iPhones in India includes none other than Samsung (oh, big surprise), Micromax and Intex. For more on this, see the full BloombergBusiness report here.
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