It seems iPhone X smuggling may already be a problem, and the phone has only been out for a few days. A man who was heading into India from Hong Kong is now facing an investigation Mumbai after police say he may have been trying to smuggle more than iPhone X handsets into the country.
iPhone X smuggling into Hong Kong?
Indian media outlets report that Mumbai Airport Customs’ Air Intelligence Unit seized the 11 handsets. Customs officers reportedly found the phones after searching Bhavesh Virani’s bags. They said he was carrying the iPhone X units in his hand bag at the time they intercepted him. They did not arrest him because the value of the phones was low enough, but a case has reportedly been registered against him. According to the Hindustan Times, the man could be slapped with a fine if authorities determine that he was participating in iPhone X smuggling.
Officials have launched an investigation to learn why he was carrying so many iPhone Xs and whether he is part of a “syndicated gang” possibly involved in iPhone X smuggling. They were reportedly expecting people to visit Hong Kong to purchase the phones, possibly through the city’s grey markets, and then bring them into India. They also say they’ve been watching common routes taken by product smugglers; the Mumbai airport is a common pathway because of the high passenger density.
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iPhone X demand soars in India
Officials say iPhone X demand was higher in India than the amount of available supply there, and the phone’s high price tag makes it a lucrative item to smuggle in. The officer told the Hindustan Times that the phones would sell for more than twice their regular price in Hong Kong’s grey markets.
Demand for Apple’s most expensive iPhone surged to an extreme high quickly in India as residents converged on Apple Stores throughout the country to try to buy one. All available units in India have reportedly been sold, so there may be a long waiting list there. Media reports indicate that retailers in India received only 25% of the handsets they ordered from distributors.