iPhone 5 Hits Grey Market in Hong Kong Starting at $1100
M.I.C. gadget points to a report from the ePrice forums indicating that grey market vendors in Hong Kong have already managed to obtain limited stocks of the iPhone 5 and have begun selling them starting at the equivalent of about $1100. Apple's retail price will start at roughly $720 when sales officially begin on Friday.
The report names the seller as "Mr. Lo", who has a history of selling Apple products prior to their official launches at significant markups.
When Lo was asked about the sales of the iPhone 5, whether there would be a demand for it, he said the stock for the iPhone 5 is quite tight, so he thinks it will be alright to re-sell the phone for a hefty markup, at least for the first two weeks. What’s more, he has prepared “secret” couriers in U.S. and Europe to hop on planes to Hong Kong after securing about hundreds of iPhone 5s. Right now Lo has already received 100-200 orders from mainland China customers before the iPhone 5 goes on sale in Hong Kong’s Apple retail store.
Lo is also said to have a standing offer to purchase sealed iPhone 5 units from customers at a premium of roughly $200 over their purchase price, as he expects to continue selling the devices at even higher prices due to tight initial supplies.
Hong Kong has been a popular point of entry for grey market iPhones headed to China, where the devices have launched at much later dates than in other countries around the world. These Chinese and Hong Kong grey markets are also fueled by purchases in the United States and other countries that are shipped back to meet demand in Asia, although Apple has instituted purchase limits and delays in launching unlocked versions in the United States in order to help combat this issue.
Hong Kong is part of the first round of launches for the iPhone 5 on Friday, but Apple is not taking online pre-orders at the moment and is advising customer that in-store sales will begin at the standard 8:00 am launch time on Friday.