India has shot down Apple's plan to sell refurbished iPhones

The government turned down an application to sell used handsets

India reportedly has rejected Apple’s plan to sell refurbished iPhones in the country, a blow to the company’s hopes for growth there.

The government turned down Apple’s application to import and sell the older, refreshed phones, Bloomberg reported, citing an unnamed official. Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple looked to refurbished handsets as a way to attract more buyers in India. An earlier application was rejected last year by India’s Ministry of Environment.

The company’s phone sales growth has been slowing in China, so it has been looking to India as its next big growth market. Apple had only three percent market share in India in the fourth quarter of last year, according to IDC. Samsung was the biggest phone seller, with 27 percent.

The environmental regulator turned Apple down last year because it was worried older phones would soon be discarded and and create an e-waste problem. Competitors have charged that Apple is looking to dump phones from its handset trade-up program.

Apple has said the refurbished handsets it would sell in India would be certified by the company and would get new serial numbers.

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