Tim Cook keen to sell Indians second-hand iPhones
: Apple CEO Tim Cook has pressed for the company to be allowed to sell certified second-hand phones in India, and is likely to raise the issue at his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi , who is unlikely to accede to the request for now.Read more ↓
Modi, on his part, is likely to push Cook to manufactureApple iPhones and computers in India, a person familiar with the matter said. In media interviews, however, Cook has remained non-committal on Apple’s local production plans.
Full coverage: Apple CEO Tim Cook’s maiden visit to India
“We want to bring back pre-owned phone to a pristine condition for a user in the Indian market, we may have to bring in some phones to sort of fuel the supply chain and the process will be done in the country,” Cook said in an interview to a TV channel.
The government is in-principle against allowing import and sale of second-hand phones in India to prevent dumping of hazardous electronic waste, said a person familiar with the matter. But it might take a more favourable view of the proposal ifApple agrees to manufacture in India. “Local manufacturing will be the thrust of the PM’s message to Cook,” the person said.
Cook appeared cagey on his near-term local production moves. “It (local manufacturing) is something we will look over time,” the top executive said in a newspaper interview. The government is keen for Apple to begin manufacturing in India as it would give the ‘Make in India’ initiative a massive boost. This, especially as Apple’s major production partner Foxconn is already manufacturing for other brands out of its factories in the country. The Taiwanese company drew up aggressive expansion plans after the government rejigged the duty structure in 2015 to make it cheaper to manufacture phones in India than importing them.
Apple’s arch rival and India’s smartphone market leader Samsung already has two manufacturing plants in the country — in Noida and Chennai — and produces over 90 per cent of its phones locally. Samsung , in fact, ran full-page advertisements in national dailies, highlighting the commitment to India through local manufacturing, R&D and design centres.
In an interview to a news channel, Cook said the phones Apple was talking about weren’t “refurbished”, and that “it’s certified pre-owned so what that means is it’s a new phone because it has a warranty for a new phone. We would like to do it here, we do it in US, Japan”. Through these pre-owned phones, Apple wants to reach out to the price-sensitive consumers in India, where a large majority buy phones priced between Rs 5,000 and Rs 15,000 — a segment where Apple doesn’t play at all, and doesn’t even intend to bring new phones in.
Cook is in New Delhi on the last leg of his maiden visit to the country. He reached Mumbai on Tuesday, and travelled to Hyderabad and Kanpur before reaching the Capital. His company is also looking to bring its digital wallet — ApplePay — into India. “We met with banks to understand their perspective on mobile payments, there are interesting opportunities there, we want to bring every service we have toIndia,” Cook said.