The government has toughened its stance against Apple’s proposal to use its facility in India to export “certified pre-owned iPhones” — one of the pre-conditions the company had set to establish a larger manufacturing base in the country.
Official sources told FE that a section of the government fears allowing Apple to bring in such second-hand iPhones from all over the world to service or upgrade here for subsequent exports could pose environmental risks.
What also seems to have gone against Apple is the fact that while it was quick to hand over a list of pre-conditions—from tax concessions to permission to export refurbished phones—to set up a large manufacturing unit in India, it didn’t share with the central government any details on the quantum of investment it is planning to make or specific employment opportunities it will create here.
Apple had sought the government’s permission to export certified pre-owned iPhones, without selling them here, after its earlier proposal to sell such refurbished iPhones in India was rejected by the ministries of environment and industry on grounds it could result in India becoming a dumping ground of second-hand phones.
Sources said Apple officials have told the government that the process of servicing or upgrading the pre-owned phones in a manufacturing unit and their subsequent sale don’t involve any environmental risks.
They have said every i-Phone that passes the certified pre-owned programme of Apple gets a new IMEI, which is basically a new signature for identification on cellular networks. An independent, third party monitors if all the proper, laid-down processes have been followed at the manufacturing facility. Usually, these devices also offer the same warranty and commitment given for new iPhones.
By Baishakhi Dutta