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
123 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
123 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
123 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
123 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)
andylyon Avatar
123 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
123 months ago
I never wanted to buy iPhones from Gray Markets.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
iphone12cameras

Kuo: 2022 iPhones to Feature 48-Megapixel Camera, 8K Video, and 6.1 and 6.7" Sizes With No 5.4" Mini Option

Tuesday April 13, 2021 10:45 pm PDT by
The upcoming 2022 iPhone lineup will feature two 6.1-inch devices and two 6.7-inch devices, with no mini-sized 5.4-inch iPhone, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors that was seen by MacRumors. Two of the iPhones will be high-end models and two of the iPhones will be lower-end models, similar to the current iPhone 12 lineup. Apple introduced the 5.4-inch...
macos catalina serial number

Apple Preparing Rollout of New Randomized Product Serial Numbers Ahead of 'Spring Loaded' Event

Wednesday April 14, 2021 2:08 am PDT by
Apple is advising its authorized premium resellers and dealers to prepare for new products with 10 and 12 digital serial numbers, days ahead of when it's expected to reveal a slew of new products. MacRumors previously reported that Apple plans to switch to randomized serial numbers for future products starting in early 2021. The company now seems to be preparing for that roll-out, telling...
apple event particularly innovative article

Gurman: Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Won't Feature Anything 'Particularly Innovative'

Thursday April 15, 2021 1:30 am PDT by
Bloomberg's highly-respected Mark Gurman says that he expects nothing "particularly innovative" or "extraordinary" to launch at Apple's "Spring Loaded" event next week, Tuesday, April 20. Gurman made the remarks during an interview for Bloomberg Technology, in which he reaffirmed that Apple will launch a new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with the higher-end model featuring a brand new...
duanrui iphone13 notch samples

More Leaked iPhone 13 Samples Show Smaller Notch, Repositioned Earpiece and Front Camera

Wednesday April 14, 2021 1:06 am PDT by
Leaker known as "DuanRui" has today shared an image of two iPhone 13 "film samples," which show the same rumored smaller notch design coming to the iPhone 13 series that we've seen from other sources. In past tweets, DuanRui has accurately leaked the correct names of the iPhone 12 models and an iPad Air 4 manual revealing its new design, so there's good reason to think this leak is credible, ...
siir apple event april 20

Siri Reveals Apple Event Planned for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
Siri has apparently prematurely revealed that Apple plans to hold an event on Tuesday, April 20, where the company is expected to reveal brand new iPad Pro models and possibly its long-awaited AirTags trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Upon being asked "When is the next Apple Event," Siri is currently responding with, "The special event is on Tuesday, April...
apple event hashflag

Twitter Hashflag for April 20 Apple Event Goes Live

Tuesday April 13, 2021 2:21 pm PDT by
Following the overnight Siri leak and subsequent announcement that Apple will hold a media event on Tuesday, April 20, a new Twitter hashflag has appeared to help provide visibility for the event on the platform. For the last several recent events, Apple has utilized hashflags, which are little icons next to hashtags on Twitter, as a way to market its events. The company first started the...
parallels windows 10 arm mac

Parallels 16.5 Can Virtualize ARM Windows Natively on M1 Macs With Up to 30% Faster Performance

Wednesday April 14, 2021 7:00 am PDT by
Parallels today announced the release of Parallels Desktop 16.5 for Mac with full support for M1 Macs, allowing for the Windows 10 ARM Insider Preview and ARM-based Linux distributions to be run in a virtual machine at native speeds on M1 Macs. Parallels says running a Windows 10 ARM Insider Preview virtual machine natively on an M1 Mac results in up to 30 percent better performance compared ...
iphone 13 pro render rear

iPhone 13 Pro Rumored to Be Thicker and Feature Larger Rear Camera System

Wednesday April 14, 2021 7:07 am PDT by
Tech blog 91Mobiles has obtained 3D renders of what it claims will be the iPhone 13 Pro, revealing a largely familiar design with a few notable changes, including a smaller notch and a significantly larger rear camera system. Following renders of the standard iPhone 13 model from MySmartPrice yesterday, which showed a new diagonal rear camera layout, these renders of the 6.1-inch iPhone 13...
third gen Apple pencil leaked video

Video of Alleged Third-Generation Apple Pencil Leaks Ahead of Apple Event

Friday April 16, 2021 6:13 am PDT by
A video purporting to be of the third-generation Apple Pencil has today been shared online, showing a glossy finish that mirrors previous leaks. New ✏️ ready to 🚢 #AppleEvent @TommyBo50387266 pic.twitter.com/s4RCDwDi5M— 漢尼斯·拉斯納 🇨🇳 (@ileakeer) April 16, 2021 The brief video from Twitter account @ileakeer, spotted by 9to5Mac, shows an Apple Pencil with a glossy finish much like the...