Earlier this week, we reported about Gionee's intent to establish exclusive retail stores across India. Apple is also reported to setup Apple Stores in India in the near future. Now, The Indian Express is reporting that Apple has filed an application to seek government's approval to sell its certified pre-owned smartphones in India.
“Apple would like to seek the government’s approval to import and sell its certified pre-owned (CPO) iPhones in India; manufacture and sell its certified pre-owned iPhones in India," said the Cupertino-based technology giant's application. If you can remember, Foxconn, the company that assembles iPhones and iPads, is already operative in India.
Unlike regular second-hand devices, Apple's certified pre-owned smartphones are sent back to Apple's manufacturing partners to replace components and then they are put to standard quality testing. Moreover, these refurbished units are given new serial numbers and new IMEI numbers before they're sold with standard one-year warranties.
Unlike American and European markets, where carriers sell subsidised mobile phones with two-year contracts, India is a completely different market. Here, customers have to bear the complete cost of the device upfront while purchasing it, so usually steep pricing of iPhones limit the number of Indian consumers that can buy them. According to the recent numbers, Apple shipped a record breaking 800,000 iPhone units in Q4, 2015.
Apple seems to think that it can capitalise in this price-conscious market by selling refurbished iPhones with lower price tags. Even though the Apple iPhone 6s and the Apple iPhone 6s Plus are the company's latest devices, devices like the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 6 have been selling like hot cakes, which goes onto show that Apple either needs to lower the price tags or sell refurbished iPhones in India due to the nature of the market.