iPhone 4S Launches to Long Lines in Hong Kong and South Korea

The iPhone 4S officially launched in fifteen new countries today, with Hong Kong and South Korea being two of the highest-profile new markets.

M.I.C gadget followed the opening in Hong Kong, noting that over 3,000 people showed up at Apple's massive new flagship store in the IFC Mall. But Apple staff reportedly allowed only 1,250 of those people to line up for the device, resulting in a significant number of people being turned away and milling about in advance of the opening.

iphone 4s scalpers
Hong Kong scalpers collecting bags full of iPhones for gray market distribution

Hong Kong has long been a popular market for scalpers given its close proximity to China proper and its lack of sales taxes and VAT. Given that the iPhone 4S has not yet launched in China, the Hong Kong launch was indeed primed for a significant gray market push from scalpers. M.I.C gadget notes that the vast majority of people in line at the Hong Kong Apple store appeared to be purchasing on behalf of scalpers, with many of them having been paid to stand in line and purchase the maximum of five devices. Following pre-orders last week that sold out in just ten minutes, reports indicate that Apple's retail store sold out of its own stock within three hours.

iphone 4s dealer
Gray market dealer in Hong Kong already offering dozens of iPhone 4S units for sale

M.I.C gadget also details how quickly the scalped devices made their way to gray market dealers, with some offering as many as 50-100 iPhone 4S units for sale within a few hours of its official launch.

iphone 4s line kt
iPhone 4S line at flagship KT store in South Korea

iPhone 4S lines were also long in South Korea, as reported by Yonhap, with carriers KT and SK Telecom serving as the primary launch locations given the absence of any official Apple retail stores in the country. SK Telecom invited the first 100 pre-order customers to a midnight launch event with local hip-hop artists and other fanfare, while KT opted to focus on the more traditional customer lineup for the morning launch of the device.

In addition to Hong Kong and South Korea, the iPhone 4S also launched today in Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, Malta, Montenegro, New Zealand, Panama, Poland, Portugal, and Romania.

Top Rated Comments

derbladerunner Avatar
127 months ago
Maximum of five phones ? Hmm.

Why doesn't Apple limit the number to 3 or better 2 devices, at least for the first weeks. Five phones per person is just a welcome for scalpers.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
billu2006 Avatar
127 months ago
I'm Hong Kong people. Most of the buyers, sold their iPhones straight away after they have bought the phones. Proximately, they can get at least HK$1000 per 1 iPhone.

As a truly end user of iphone and mac lover, i really hate this kind of business. Everyone is crazy to get iPhone to sell.One of my friends, pre-ordered 16 pcs online on apple store, and it is common for anyone who wants to make profit on it.Online apple store stopped the pre-order just 20 mins after they launched it. So you can imagine how many end user cant get their iPhone to use.

I dont know if it is a common phenomenal around the world:(

Sorry for my poor english since english is not my first language
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rageguy Avatar
127 months ago
I'm in HK right now. You make 1500 to 1800 per iPhone in HKD. That's roughly 200 something in CAD and USD. Prices are dropping as we speak.

HK is known for scalping. It's nothing shocking at all. China is filled with rich people who will spend any amount to acquire new and fancy things. As long as the people in China are so loaded, this scalping won't end.

90% of the people in the line in HK do not love Apple. They do it to scalp. Also, they are all black, brown or Filipino people. They are paid to line up.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gloryunited Avatar
127 months ago
Maximum of five phones ? Hmm.

Why doesn't Apple limit the number to 3 or better 2 devices, at least for the first weeks. Five phones per person is just a welcome for scalpers.
I have been saying this since the pre-order started, Apple LOVES scalpers.

5 phones per person is nothing compared to the 10 per person limit on online pre-order! I believe Apple has a 2 per person limit everywhere in the world but Hong Kong, which is so close to China where iPhones are of huge demand and not being sold yet. Why? Who is doing the dirty business?

Shame on Apple.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
9822737 Avatar
127 months ago


Those people in the Hong Kong pic are not ethnically Chinese. I think the pics were mixed up.

So!? Doesn't mean they don't live there!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iAppleseed Avatar
127 months ago
I never wanted to buy iPhones from Gray Markets.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 13 to Bring Over a Major Feature From the Apple Watch

Wednesday July 28, 2021 2:21 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will feature an always-on display akin to the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, according to recent reports. In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, said that the iPhone 13 may feature an Apple Watch-inspired always-on mode. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch...
duracell battery bitter coating

Apple Says Don't Buy AirTag Replacement Batteries With Bitter Coating

Wednesday July 28, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Since AirTags were just released earlier this year and are expected to have a year-long battery life, it may be some time yet before AirTag users need a replacement battery, but when the time comes for a refresh, Apple is warning customers not to buy batteries with a bitter coating. AirTags use coin-shaped CR2032 batteries, which happen to be a size that's easy to swallow. Some battery...
iPad mini pro feature 2

iPad Mini 6 to Feature 8.3-Inch Display With No Home Button and Narrower Bezels

Monday July 26, 2021 12:26 pm PDT by
The sixth-generation iPad mini that's in the works will have an 8.3-inch display, according to display analyst Ross Young. That will be larger than the current 7.9-inch display, with the larger size due to the removal of the Home button and a narrower bezel design. Rumors about the iPad mini 6 have been picking up in recent weeks ahead of its prospective launch this fall. Apple analyst...
iOS 15 General Feature Purple

Everything New in iOS 15 Beta 4: Safari Tweaks, MagSafe Battery Pack Support, Notification Updates and More

Tuesday July 27, 2021 11:47 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth betas of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, introducing additional refinements to the new features that are coming in the software updates. In these betas, Apple has introduced changes for Safari, Notifications, Focus mode, and more. Safari Updates Apple is continuing to refine the design of Safari on the iPhone, and in iOS 15, there are tweaks to improve usability. ...
new m1 chip

Tim Cook on Apple Deciding to Manufacture Components: 'We Ask Ourselves If We Can Do Something Better'

Tuesday July 27, 2021 3:04 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call for the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked how Apple decides what components to purchase and what components to develop, and Cook said that Apple asks if it can be done better. We ask ourselves if we can do something better. If we can deliver a better product. If we can buy something in the market and it's great...
iPad Pro Feature Magenta

Mac Otakara: iPad Air 5 to Feature iPad Pro-Like Design, No Design Changes Coming to iPad Mini 6 or iPad 9

Tuesday July 27, 2021 11:06 am PDT by
The next-generation iPad Air will feature a design that's similar to the third-generation iPad Pro, according to Japanese site Mac Otakara. Citing a Chinese supplier, the site says that the fifth-generation iPad Air will continue to feature a 10.9-inch display and a Touch ID button on the side, but it will gain a dual-lens camera system with Wide and Ultra Wide cameras. A LiDAR Scanner is ...
Apple Leak Feature

Apple Demands Leaker Reveals Sources Under Threat of Being Reported to Police

Wednesday July 28, 2021 6:53 am PDT by
Apple has sent a cease and desist letter to a leaker based in China as part of its continuing attempts to curtail leaks of unreleased products, according to Vice. A Chinese citizen who shared images of stolen Apple prototypes on social media was sent a warning letter from Fangda Partners, Apple's law firm in China, on June 18, 2021. An extract from the letter read:You have disclosed without ...
iOS 14 on iPhone feature emergency

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 With Fix for Touch ID Apple Watch Bug

Monday July 26, 2021 9:48 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1, minor bug fix updates that come just a week after the release of iOS 14.7, software that introduced new Apple Card features and support for the MagSafe Battery Pack. The iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to...
General iOS 14

iOS 14.7.1 and macOS Big Sur 11.5.1 Patch Security Vulnerability That May Have Been Actively Exploited

Monday July 26, 2021 11:55 am PDT by
Apple today released unexpected iOS 14.7.1 and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates to the public, and according to a newly released support document, the software addresses a serious security vulnerability that may have been exploited in the wild. Apple says that an application may have been able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges due to a memory corruption issue. "Apple is aware of a report ...