Apple has been trying for some time now to sell refurbished iPhones in India, with the company facing opposition from the government. Tim Cook made his way to the country last week to make his case for the program, but the government announced today that it has summarily rejected the proposal.
At a press conference, commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman said:
We are not in favour of any company selling used phones in the company, however certified they may be.
The government has also rejected the manufacturer's bid to be exempt from the mandatory local sourcing norms, after it initially looked like Apple would be given the go-ahead. It looks like wires were crossed between the finance and commerce ministries, as Sitharaman said that she will be discussing the matter:
We took a line that we would not mind waiving the 30% local sourcing norm for Apple. Now, the finance ministry has taken a different position. We will examine the matter in consultation with the finance ministry.
Selling refurbished iPhones would give Apple a significant boost in terms of sales, as the recertified units will be sold at a lower price point. The vendor has seen an uptick in sales in recent quarters, but pricing of its phones — which is significantly higher than U.S. retail prices — continues to be a sore point for most consumers in the country.