Bloomberg speculates that India could refuse to grant Apple permission to sell used iPhones in the country citing comments from a telecommunications ministry official today.

The U.S. company’s application has been turned down, the official said, asking to not be identified, citing official policy [whileApple declined to comment.

Apple had hoped that used iPhone sales would be a good way to get a foothold in a country where its market share is just 2%, and where 80% of phones cost less than $150. Its iPhone Upgrade Program in the United States gave the company a plentiful supply of used phones that it could have sold at much lower prices in India without sacrificing margin, which must have seemed like the perfect plan … 

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However, a newly-formed lobbying group last month wrote to the government asking it to refuse Apple’s request, and it appears the government has now done just that. One of the companies behind the Mobile and Communications Council which opposed Apple’s plans is competitor Samsung.

A refusal – which follows a similar one last year – will be a setback to Apple, but not one which will delay its expansion plans for the country, which include the first ever official Apple Stores in the country. Its ambitious plans are said to include flagship store based on the iconic Fifth Avenue design.

Photo: Associated Press

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