Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has yet to release the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus in China. This has prompted some people to smuggle the in-demand devices into the nation and sell them at a premium price.
Problems in the black market for Apple iPhones
Sellers in the black market are only looking for a quick buck and apparently have already exhausted early demand for the device, much to Apple’s dismay. According to one source, the gray market for the iPhones has already dried up. The New York Times also estimates that tens of thousands devices were smuggled in from the United States, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. This means that the black market in China is saturated with Apple’s new smartphones.
Because of this, one black market seller actually had to cut the street price of the phone from between $1,960 and $2,450 to between $1,060 and $1,436. The phones actually netted wholesalers $163 per phone, but now since the phones are available, the demand is lower. This may mean that those in the black market will lose money on their iPhone 6 stock.
A closer look at the iPhone buyers
Earlier this month when Apple finally released the iPhone 6 to the public in the U.S., videographer Casey Neistat checked out the lines at the Manhattan Apple retail stores. He met up with a number of Chinese customers waiting in line to purchase the devices. Neistat asked the buyers what they planned on doing with their new phones, and a sizable number was planning on keeping the phone for themselves or giving the device to a loved one.
Unfortunately, Neistat didn’t believe them. He even produced a 10-minute video called “Black Market Takes Over the iPhone 6 Lines,” suggesting that some Chinese iPhone buyers waited in line to purchase the devices in hopes of reselling them. Many others in line were allegedly there because of organized smuggling rings ran by the Chinese mafia.
Not surprisingly, many analysts disagree with Neistat’s video. Strategy analyst Linda Sui believes Chinese consumers sell the devices because they need the money.