A few days after the official iPhone 4S launch in the United States, the smartphone is already selling on China’s grey market for a whopping $2000. The 16GB of the iPhone 4S is selling at about US$1,729 in one of Beijing’s Zhongguancun electronics markets. To get the 32GB version, customers must pay another couple hundred American dollars (US$2,043), which translates into twice the official price in US.
According to a vendor, who did not wanted to disclose his identity, said the factory unlocked iPhone 4S units have been imported from Australia, Japan and the U.S., and are sold to early adopters without any contract. Another vendor in the bustling grey market was spotted selling the 16GB version of the iPhone 4S for $1,391 only, which according to him were bought in the U.K.
The phones are retailing for between HK$10,000 and HK$12,000 ($1,300-$1,500) on the Hong Kong’s grey market. A dealer Ma Hui of Chu Lok Telecom, Mongkok confirmed to have sold more than 100 iPhone 4S in one day with several customers buying 10 units to resell to others. In addition to it, one mainland Chinese customer had reportedly spent HK$861,000 for 82 new iPhone 4S units and the other one purchased 53 units of iPhone 4S.
According to MIC Gadget – Mr. Lo, best known as the ‘master’ of the gray market in Hong Kong, has already procured 100 to 200 iPhone 4S orders before the official launch. Customers have even made an advance payment of HKD$1,000 (about $128) to Mr. Lo that securing each iPhone 4S unit before the launch.
Several vendors added that since the latest device has modest update with no local language Siri support, the demand is not that high. While no launch date for the iPhone 4S has been announced for the Chinese market, it’s a perfect opportunity for the gray market to milk eager Apple fanboys.