Apple working to import & sell pre-owned iPhones in India, report says

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Apple is seeking government approval to import and resell used iPhones in India, according to a statement by the country's telecommunications minister on Friday.

"An application from Apple regarding import of certified pre-owned iPhones for sale in India and manufacturing certified pre-owned iPhones for sale in India has been received in the ministry of environment and forests," Ravi Shankar Prasad wrote to the Rajya Sabha, the country's upper house of Parliament, according to the Times of India. Prasad added, however, that the government has yet to greenlight anything.

It's not clear which models Apple might choose to import, but the move is presumably a tactic to further penetrate the Indian smartphone market. Even with recent growth, Apple controls a small fraction of sales in the country, where it's dwarfed by competitors like Samsung and Micromax. Those companies are better able to compete on price, as current-generation iPhones are often well beyond the means of local shoppers.

Apple only recently dropped the iPhone 4S and 5c in India. Keeping the 4S on sale allowed the company to offer a phone for Rs. 12,000, or roughly $175.

Apple's footprint in the region is set to intensify in the next year, with a new development office opening in Hyderabad, and the possibility of the country's first Apple Stores.