Apple has chosen ten countries for the first wave of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus rollout, leaving China off the list as it didn’t receive the regulatory approval it needs. While this is bad news for the majority of Chinese buyers, it benefits Hong Kong residents, who have been in the pre-order race to get as many iPhones as possible with a single aim: to resell them for profit.
Apparently, the demand for the iPhone 6 models was so high in Hong Kong that the initial stock sold out within two hours. As Reuters has learned, many of those devices will be smuggled across the border into mainland China, where they can be resold for as much as four times the Hong Kong price.
“I’m worried about getting enough iPhones to resell. Orders have doubled compared to last year,” said Gary Yiu, a salesperson at I Generation in Sin Tat Plaza in Mong Kok, Hong Kong’s electronics hub.
His store offers HK$10,000 ($1,290) for those willing to re-sell the latest model, almost twice the official local price of HK$5,588. Yiu said he received more than 100 orders from Hong Kong and mainland China, double the number he had a year ago when Apple launched the iPhone 5S.
To put that into numbers: In Shenzen, the asking price for the cheapest iPhone 6 model can go as high as $3,260, and Reuters has heard that one telecom shop was so intent on selling the iPhone as soon as it appeared that it has sent its staff to Hong Kong, Japan, and even the US to buy the new models and bring them back for sale.