Technology

Asian Scalpers Used Software Programs To Pre-order iPhone X: Analyst

Were you among the first to pre-order Apple iPhone X? The hype around the iPhone X was so strong that the pre-orders ran out of stock within minutes on Oct.27. In less than half an hour, the delivery estimates ballooned to 5-6 weeks. It means buyers who were only a few minutes late in pre-ordering the device won’t receive it until December. Millions of other pre-order customers have to wait until early 2018 to get their hands on the phone.

Pre-Order Apple iPhone X
Image Source: Apple.com (screenshot)

Robo scalpers might have rushed to pre-order Apple iPhone X

Apple has confirmed that the iPhone X demand had been “off the charts.” Strong consumer demand coupled with supply shortages was the reason delivery dates were pushed back by 5-6 weeks so soon after the pre-orders going live. The total pre-orders are estimated to exceed 50 million units. An analyst says that robo scalpers might have played a role in pushing back your pre-orders.

Rosenblatt Securities analyst Jun Zhang estimates that the iPhone X pre-orders surpassed 5.5 million units in just five hours in China. By comparison, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus had received only 4 million orders in the first three days. In his latest report, Jun Zhang notes that the iPhone X pre-order volumes declined rapidly after the first day, most likely due to the long wait times.

The analyst estimates that Apple received 9-12 million pre-orders in three days in China. That’s a “strong” number. Apple will reportedly be able to ship only about 20 million units through this year. Jun Zhang wonders whether retailers were using software programs to pre-order Apple iPhone X, with an intention to resell the device in Asian markets at higher prices. We wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out to be true.

Rosenblatt Securities says in its new report that smaller retailers might have used software to quickly pre-order Apple iPhone X. These robo-orders might have “contributed to strong initial orders” in China and Hong Kong. It helps explain how pre-orders touched 5.5 million units in five hours, and then the pace slowed to reach 9-12 million in three days. Zhang added that the Space Gray 256GB model was the most popular in China.

iPhone X selling at exorbitant prices in eBay

Hundreds of scalpers from around the world have already been selling the iPhone X on eBay and other auction sites at exorbitant prices. On average, scalpers are selling the 64GB iPhone X for $1,500. More than a thousand such listings had appeared on eBay in less than an hour of the pre-orders going live. The volume and price range could be even higher in the Chinese gray market.

Many scalpers on eBay seem to be pushing the limits. Someone is selling a silver, unlocked 256GB iPhone X for – wait for it – $30,000! But this seller lags behind another that is selling the T-Mobile Space Gray version for $60,000! Many Apple fans who missed out on the pre-order might want to buy the device from the auction site. But these prices are insane.

Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White has compared the iPhone X pre-orders to those of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in 2014. White has a Buy rating on Apple stock with a price target of $208. He noted that the iPhone X is taking Apple’s smartphone franchise “to a whole new level.” It will push the tech giant “deep into the ultra-luxury smartphone market.”

You can still pick up the iPhone X on launch day

The device will hit the store shelves in more than 53 countries on Friday, November 3. If you were unable to pre-order Apple iPhone X, you could purchase it directly from one of Apple’ stores. However, the smartphone will be available only in small quantities in stores, and there will be long queues in front of Apple Stores. So, you have to be among the first to stand in the queue to have any chance of walking out of the store with the phone.

The iPhone X is Apple’s latest and greatest smartphone. It sports an all-screen 5.8-inch Super Retina OLED display. The phone’s back panel is also made out of glass to support wireless charging. Other features include wireless charging, a dual camera, Portrait Lighting, augmented reality and the much talked about Face ID facial recognition system. Face ID sprays 30,000 infrared dots to gather information about your face. Apple claims it is so accurate that there is only one in a million chance that someone else will be able to unlock your phone.

However, privacy activists have expressed concerns that the widespread use of Face ID will “normalize” the facial recognition technology in our culture. The technology might be abused by marketers, advertisers, law enforcement agencies. If you are not comfortable with the Face ID, you could always buy the iPhone 8 or 8 Plus.