Apple Inc. NASDAQ:AAPL’s iPhone 6 might not be available in China in the initial rollout, but wealthy Chinese customers are not hesitant to pay a hefty premium to get a handsets from other regions. Hong Kong is a popular location for resold and refurbished products, and excited vendors are busy taking preorders from the Apple zealots on the mainland.
Chinese buyers turning to grey market for iPhones
According to HKsellers, the retail price is a bargain as Apple fans will be ready to pay as much as 30,000 Yuan ($A5390) to get the new iPhone 6, says a report from SMH.
Just last week, the Cupertino, Calif-based company launched the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus with a larger screen. In the first phase of the roll out, the phone will be available in 10 countries including Hong Kong on September 19, but there is no word over when the phone will arrive in mainland China, even though it accounts for a significant share of demand for Apple products.
Long queues in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stores in Hong Kong were witnessed during the launch of the iPhone last year, where resellers bought the device from hundreds of new iPhone users, and sold it at higher prices in the unauthorized “grey market.”
iPhone 6 to command hefty premium
In one of the busiest malls that is popular for mobile phones, posters and demos of both the iPhone 6 models are already on display.
The owner of a phone reseller shop at the three-story shopping center, told AFP, “The demand in the mainland is bigger for the iPhone 6 compared to the iPhone 5s because there are bigger changes made to it.” The owner added that he will order phones from the United States to fulfill the pre-order for 300 units of the iPhone 6 by a mainland buyer. The price of larger iPhone 6 Plus could rose to over HK$20,000 ($A2843), according to Gary Yiu, the manager of the iGeneration mobile phone store.
Last year, Apple launched the iPhone 5S in mainland China, and the country went bonkers over the gold iPhone 5S model. Apple products have become so popular in China that one young man went to the extreme of selling his kidney to buy an iPhone and iPad back in 2012.