Apple is planning to sell refurbished iPhones in India and also is evaluating a facility in the country to restore used mobiles shipped from China.
According to a report in the Indian Express , Apple has filed an application to the Environment ministry’s technical review committee (TRC) for importing and selling refurbished iPhones in the country.
“Apple would like to seek the government’s approval to import and sell its certified pre-owned iPhones in India; manufacture and sell its certified pre-owned iPhones in India,” the report quoted the application dated December 7.
Earlier, a similar proposition from Apple was turned down by the TRC. The company had sought permission to import 2.5 lakh iPads to explore the refurbished market in the country. The TRC had shot down the request saying that the move would add to India’s e-waste.
Refurbished electrical and electronic equipments (EEEs) have usually shorter functional life and tend to become obsolete quicker creating a pressure on the e-waste of the country. The TRC had said that at best that imports that were less than three year old with at least five years of more life in the refurbished stage could be allowed.
However, the company has claimed that Apple has claimed that all its refurbished products are made by the original equipment manufacturers and thus they come with the same quality assurance as the new devices.
It also put up another interesting logic while claiming their high standards of e-waste management and recycling. It said that India, which is a price sensitive market, could actually replace low-end phones with the refurbished phones and hence cut down on e-waste and landfills.
“Indeed, the presence of low-end mobile phones constitutes a risk for the environment given their current levels of quality and durability. Apple designs durable products that last for many years. Designing durable mobile phones helps reduce electronic waste,” Apple was quoted as saying in the report.
Apple has not divulged any business plans for its refurbished products yet but it said that the number of refurbished phones would be in low hundreds of thousands units annually.
“This also depends on other external factors such as the number and availability of defective units coming from China, China’s regulation on exporting defective units and the economics of CPO manufacturing in India. After approval from the government of India, such a project could be established, with all factors falling in place, within a period of 24 months,” it said.