iPhone 5s

Apple's move to sell used iPhones in India has hit a roadblock. The Department of Electronics and Information Technology has advised the Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) and the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) against the import of second-hand iPhones into the country, stating that the move would contribute to "electronic waste being dumped in India."

Speaking to Economic Times, an official with the IT department said that the government would be fine if Apple were to set up a facility to import components and refurbish older phones, provided they were then exported out of the country. The issue is with selling the phones locally in India:

We are fine with importing the components, refurbishing them locally for exports because it would generate employment and contribute to forex earnings, a senior official said.

Both the MoEF and DGFT are scrutinizing Apple's application to sell refurbished iPhones in India, and a final decision is yet to be announced. With the government aggressively pushing its "Make in India" initiative, incentivizing local production of hardware, it looks unlikely that Apple will be allowed to bring in used iPhones that may be nearing their end of life, as a previous application was turned down on the same grounds.

Apple is also seeking approval from the government to set up local production, as well as launching its own retail stores in the country, and the manufacturer will be looking for a more positive response from the government on those fronts.