India rejects Apple’s plan to sell used iPhones

India has rejected Apple’s request to sell used iPhones in the country, an unnamed telecommunications ministry source told Bloomberg. Apple wanted permission to sell used devices to draw in cost conscious buyers left in the cold when the company discontinued sales of the iPhone 4s and 5c in February, driving the price of an entry-level iPhone from 12,000 rupees to 24,000 rupees.

But after rivals made the case that Apple was essentially turning India into a dumping ground for electronic waste and skirting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India program, the company’s application to sell used devices seems to have fallen flat.
A similar Apple request was rejected last year, leaving the company in a tough position in the Indian market, where iPhones account for only 2 percent of phone shipments. Apple’s application to open its own retail stores in India is likely to gain approval, but without a plan in place to draw in customers who can’t afford an expensive phone, the company’s path to profitability with the world’s second largest mobile population is unclear.

Apple declined to comment.