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MacRumors
Oct 28, 2010, 01:13 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2010/10/28/iphone-4-sells-out-in-apples-chinese-online-store-in-only-10-hours-scalpers-blamed/)


http://images.macrumors.com/article/2010/10/28/141044-iphone_4_china_sold_out.jpg

iPhone 4 in Apple's Chinese online store: "No Supply"
Earlier this week, Apple debuted (http://www.macrumors.com/2010/10/26/apple-debuts-chinese-online-store-chinese-language-app-store/) its Chinese online store, offering consumers in that country the ability to order the full range of Apple products directly from the company. M.I.C gadget reports (http://micgadget.com/9182/iphone-4-sold-out-within-10-hours-at-china-online-apple-store/), however, that the store's supplies of the iPhone 4 recent incidents (http://store.apple.com/cn/browse/home/shop_iphone/family/iphone>completely sold out[/url] within 10 hours of the store going live, with Apple refusing to even offer shipping estimates or permitting customers to place future orders.

As with [url="http://www.macrumors.com/2010/09/30/iphone-scalpers-force-temporary-closure-of-beijing-apple-retail-store/) in Apple's retail stores (http://www.macrumors.com/2010/10/08/apple-now-requiring-reservations-for-iphone-purchases-in-china/) in China, scalpers are being blamed for rapid depletion of Apple's online store stocks. With Apple employing more stringent standards for in-store iPhone 4 sales, including reservations, purchase limits and ID requirements, the new online store appears to be scalpers' latest target.Here's what a scalper tells us,

"You will not have a chance to buy one. We have an auto-refresh system to place order, and we are watching it for 24 hours, can you do this?"Demand from legitimate customers appears to remain very high, but they continue to struggle to compete against scalpers working to soak up the entire country's supply as quickly as it can be released.As far as we know, there's a high demand for iPhone 4 in China, especially Beijing and Shanghai. The people here do not mind about the price, they just wish to buy one and tell their friends that they have got an iPhone 4. So, consumers no longer need to buy an iPhone 4 through China Unicom, the only telecom operator offering Apple's iPhone in China, they just need to learn how to act faster than those irritating scalpers and place an order on China online Apple Store before a scalper does.The iPhone 4's quick disappearance from the Chinese online store comes after all iPhone models became unavailable in Apple's Hong Kong online store (http://store.apple.com/hk/browse/home/shop_iphone/family/iphone). Hong Kong was a popular source for grey market iPhones before the iPhone launched in China and has continued to remain a profitable option for smugglers due to lower taxation and thus lower prices in Hong Kong coupled with continued tight supplies in China.

Article Link: iPhone 4 Sells Out in Apple's Chinese Online Store in Only 10 Hours, Scalpers Blamed (http://www.macrumors.com/2010/10/28/iphone-4-sells-out-in-apples-chinese-online-store-in-only-10-hours-scalpers-blamed/)



NinjaHERO
Oct 28, 2010, 01:19 PM
Sucks for the legit customers who want one.

NebulaClash
Oct 28, 2010, 01:23 PM
Doesn't take long for people to catch on to capitalism once exposed to it, huh? :)

Small White Car
Oct 28, 2010, 01:24 PM
Oh PLEASE Apple...just drop the price there about $100 tonight. :D

You've got cash in the bank. The look on the scalper's faces will be worth the money you lose.

Rothgarr
Oct 28, 2010, 01:24 PM
I wonder how many were "sold" in that 10 hours.

jeffreyropp
Oct 28, 2010, 01:25 PM
Its a temporary issue. Once the demand levels off, the scalpers will disappear.

It happened here as well. The Pasadena, CA store had many groups assembled at the direction of scalpers to buy as many iPhones as possible on day 1.

Small White Car
Oct 28, 2010, 01:26 PM
I wonder how many were "sold" in that 10 hours.

Why the quotation marks? They're real sales. I mean, it sucks for the real customers, but Apple got paid. They're actual sales, not "sales."

JPark
Oct 28, 2010, 01:27 PM
Too bad they don't have a limitless production facility. They could just flood the Chinese market with more phones and the scalpers would get stuck with all theirs (and Apple would sell a boatload of phones).

Rodimus Prime
Oct 28, 2010, 01:30 PM
what I hate is those damn scalpers/scammers have force so many web sights and business to go to those pictures with random letters in them. Some of them are hard to read and take me multiple tires to enter the answer and it is getting worse as those same groups are getting better at writing programs to see threw the "noise" thrown in.

Nanasaki
Oct 28, 2010, 01:30 PM
Sucks for the legit customers who want one.

1. Very small amount of quantity, and relatively large demand, create a illusion that iPhone is very popular in China.
2. They kept customer wait longer for supplying while again keep quantity relative small, so that it appears iPhone sells really quick. At least that i read from news article in Chinese website.
3. There are lots of people who buy large quantity of iPhone and resell it for higher price. So that those people took most of iPhone from Apple store. So it appears iPhone selles even more quickly. In reality, most people have to wait for iPhone at regular price or people has to buy iPhone off from other at higher price.
4. It is just in Beijing and Shanghai, city like those has lots of rich people. They just don't care about the price. They just want show off to satisfy their sick minds.
5. I love my Blackberry torch. It just good.

Loonytik
Oct 28, 2010, 01:31 PM
It's Ticketmaster....except it's phones, not tickets!

gatearray
Oct 28, 2010, 01:35 PM
This reminds me of the throngs of Chinese resellers that would descend on Apple 5th Ave in NYC to buy as many iPhones (and iPads) that they could within the two-device per day limit.

They would buy a deuce at full retail price in cash, go outside with their purchase to drop off with Grandma, change their shirt or jacket / put on sunglasses, then return to buy more in their "disguise". :)

Most spoke no English whatsoever besides the words "iPad" or "iPhone" ("34 gee-bee") and big blue vans would drop them off in the morning to buy as many as possible for their "iPimp" who would return to pick them up at the end of the day and collect the loot.

Poor immigrant makes about $200 cash a day for a good score and a long day of "shopping" and sitting, then iPimp sells each phone in Hong Kong for $1000 over U.S. retail.

Crazy, but 100% true.

alphaod
Oct 28, 2010, 01:36 PM
Its a temporary issue. Once the demand levels off, the scalpers will disappear.


Except the demand has been very high for the last three and some years. There is nothing temporary about it.

1. Very small amount of quantity, and relatively large demand, create a illusion that iPhone is very popular in China.
2. They kept customer wait longer for supplying while again keep quantity relative small, so that it appears iPhone sells really quick. At least that i read from news article in Chinese website.
3. There are lots of people who buy large quantity of iPhone and resell it for higher price. So that those people took most of iPhone from Apple store. So it appears iPhone selles even more quickly. In reality, most people have to wait for iPhone at regular price or people has to buy iPhone off from other at higher price.
4. It is just in Beijing and Shanghai, city like those has lots of rich people. They just don't care about the price. They just want show off to satisfy their sick minds.
5. I love my Blackberry torch. It just good.

If you have ever been to China, you'll see the demand is very very high. People are paying as high as $2500 for the factory unlocked ones.

sarge
Oct 28, 2010, 01:36 PM
It's Ticketmaster....except it's phones, not tickets!

Too True. U.S. Congress works much the same way.

ShiftyPig
Oct 28, 2010, 01:38 PM
they just wish to buy one and tell their friends that they have got an iPhone 4.

Sounds like America.

Jelite
Oct 28, 2010, 01:39 PM
Oh PLEASE Apple...just drop the price there about $100 tonight. :D

You've got cash in the bank. The look on the scalper's faces will be worth the money you lose.

They should have put an extra $100 dollars on the price from the start and then dropped prices when the demand slowed down, they make the extra money plus no one buys the phones from the scalpers, everyones a winner, well just Apple really.:D

4nNtt
Oct 28, 2010, 01:48 PM
Doesn't take long for people to catch on to capitalism once exposed to it, huh? :)

That is a very uninformed comment. China is communist because of the one party system and because the government has more power to regulate, not because people don't know how to be entrepreneurial. Capitalism isn't illegal in China. It is actually encouraged. China has been trying to get rid of any remaining state owned business and are certainly not expanding that. If anything the scalpers are against law/regulation because they are not respecting Apple's terms.

SteveSparks
Oct 28, 2010, 01:51 PM
Apple just needs to show up with a dozen or so semi trucks of phones. Sell them and flood the scalpers with 100k phones then drop the price. Everyone wins.

Nanasaki
Oct 28, 2010, 01:54 PM
Except the demand has been very high for the last three and some years. There is nothing temporary about it.



If you have ever been to China, you'll see the demand is very very high. People are paying as high as $2500 for the factory unlocked ones.

I am not really surprise of that. Lots of rich people in city like Shanghai and Beijing. So there you go. If i am still in China, there would be no way for me to spend 2500 (you mean Yuan or dollar?). I am not rich... sad.... Yea, Apple let Chinese people wait for at least 3 generation for the iPhone, of course the demand would be very very high. People over there like showing off their new shiny Apple product, since iPhone can make them proud of themselves. Seriously, i am Chinese, and i have living in China for almost 17 years. I know what people over there. I believe, when blackberry officially sells in China, the demand would be really high too. But it is good for Apple, coagulations to Apple. Thumb up

Banyan Bruce
Oct 28, 2010, 01:56 PM
Oh PLEASE Apple...just drop the price there about $100 tonight. :D

You've got cash in the bank. The look on the scalper's faces will be worth the money you lose.

Now that I would like to see.....;)

Nanasaki
Oct 28, 2010, 02:00 PM
Now that I would like to see.....;)

Sigh... plans for iPhone are way to expensive here in Canada.... $50 per monthly (only have 500MB data bandwidth)... LOWER the price already!!! I am using unlocked BB and paying $30 without data plan...

jimmyjjames
Oct 28, 2010, 02:01 PM
I wonder how many fraudulent credit card transactions are being made by these scalpers...check your statement for Apple China transactions

Eddyisgreat
Oct 28, 2010, 02:03 PM
Here's what a scalper tells us,

"You will not have a chance to buy one. We have an auto-refresh system to place order, and we are watching it for 24 hours, can you do this?"

Jeeze....mafioso win? With statements like this I wonder if they have operations in the US at Apple headquarters, or have insiders at FoxConn taking them right off the line.

Digitalclips
Oct 28, 2010, 02:13 PM
Why the quotation marks? They're real sales. I mean, it sucks for the real customers, but Apple got paid. They're actual sales, not "sales."

You took the words right out of my keyboard.

Benjamins
Oct 28, 2010, 02:20 PM
can't they just put a limit for 1 or 2 iphone per credit cards?

Unless the scalpers have a few thousand credit cards on standby, otherwise they are not going to be very effective.

shanmugam
Oct 28, 2010, 02:20 PM
really they want to spend $700 and up iPhone?, it is expensive outside of US.

wow, people are rich enough to buy these iPhones

are they reselling these iPhone 4 to US? iPhones are unlocked in China right?

Benjamins
Oct 28, 2010, 02:22 PM
Why the quotation marks? They're real sales. I mean, it sucks for the real customers, but Apple got paid. They're actual sales, not "sales."

Sucks for Apple also. The premium scalpers charge real customers could be used to buy accessories or maybe even another iPhone.

dermeister
Oct 28, 2010, 02:25 PM
Meh, it's just arbitrage. Way more demand than supply, and since Apple doesn't use a price auctioning system to equalize supply & demand, someone else will.

Makes more sense than a lineup. Whoever wants it first can just pay the most.

Now sure they aren't end-users, but whatever stock they buy up will eventually go to an end-user.

If Apple wants to cut out the middle-man, they should just do the auctioning themselves.

notabadname
Oct 28, 2010, 02:26 PM
A sale is sale :)

Not like people don't by everything from iPhones to PS3s in this country and do the same thing on eBay.

And1ss
Oct 28, 2010, 02:30 PM
All these reports about iPhone scalpers and the negativity surrounding them in China makes me feel quite ashamed of my own people. Then again, I can't blame them since the environment in China so different from the United States. Every man for themselves!

bizzle
Oct 28, 2010, 02:32 PM
Good luck to the people flipping them, I'd be doing the same thing if I had time to do it. Lots of money to be made. More power to them.

kntgsp
Oct 28, 2010, 02:32 PM
Except the demand has been very high for the last three and some years. There is nothing temporary about it.



If you have ever been to China, you'll see the demand is very very high. People are paying as high as $2500 for the factory unlocked ones.

Average income for city dwellers last year in China was what...$2700 or $2800 I believe.

So they only need to work almost a whole year to afford one.

Sucks for Apple also. The premium scalpers charge real customers could be used to buy accessories or maybe even another iPhone.

Or hell, an Apple computer ffs. It's a LOT of potential loss they are seeing with scalpers there. No real way to combat it though. "Limit of 1 per customer" doesn't really work when you have 1.3 billion of them. You just get Joe Schmo, or Ching Ling or whatever the equivalent is, off the corner to go buy one. Rinse repeat 20 times.

Nebrie
Oct 28, 2010, 02:37 PM
can't they just put a limit for 1 or 2 iphone per credit cards?

Unless the scalpers have a few thousand credit cards on standby, otherwise they are not going to be very effective.

Credit cards are mostly an American thing plus a few other countries at the most.

MickdyMickdyMAC
Oct 28, 2010, 02:38 PM
All your iphone are belong to us! Muahahahahaaa!!

wmjbobic
Oct 28, 2010, 02:43 PM
what's the big fuss about this?

they did not force you to buy from them.

if you don't want to buy from them, just wait until apple restocks.

it happens everywhere that ppl buy and resell.

NebulaClash
Oct 28, 2010, 02:45 PM
That is a very uninformed comment. China is communist because of the one party system and because the government has more power to regulate, not because people don't know how to be entrepreneurial. Capitalism isn't illegal in China. It is actually encouraged. China has been trying to get rid of any remaining state owned business and are certainly not expanding that. If anything the scalpers are against law/regulation because they are not respecting Apple's terms.

Kindly direct your uninformed scolding to others. I know very well how China works. We are witnessing a generation of Chinese who have taken the governments lightening of business rules and running with it. More power to them. But there was a time in the middle-to-late part of the 20th century when being entrepreneurial would get you into big trouble. Some of those folks are still alive and remember, even if the younger generation only knows this new, more free-wheeling, world.

So my comment was to point out that once a society is allowed to once again become entrepreneurial, they quickly learn all that is legal and good, and just as quickly all that is skirting the rules and laws and is annoying.

doctor-don
Oct 28, 2010, 02:46 PM
What's going to happen when the Chinese system cannot handle all those phones?

And "M.I.C gadget reports, however, that the store's supplies of the iPhone 4 recent incidents in Apple's retail stores in China, scalpers are being blamed for rapid depletion of Apple's online store stocks."? Please proofread so we can understand what you write.

Ted13
Oct 28, 2010, 02:48 PM
Average income for city dwellers last year in China was what...$2700 or $2800 I believe.

So they only need to work almost a whole year to afford one.

Don't know what the median income in China is, but if it is something similar to the average income, that means there are 670+ million people who make more than that, and probably 100 million who can afford an iPhone -- not dissimilar in size from the potential US audience for iPhones.

Apple's problem is not Android -- it is making iPhones fast enough.

Jiten
Oct 28, 2010, 02:52 PM
I know a fellow from Hong Kong who does this. I don't know exactly how but he buys stocks from Hong Kong and sends them to neighboring countries that do not yet have the iPhone available like in Indonesia and the Philippines and add a +100% margin on it. Did the same with the iPad and he makes quite a killing as the demand in these local markets is so strong that some buyers there are willing up to 3 times the SRP just to get their hand on the latest iGadget.

dnaida
Oct 28, 2010, 02:54 PM
i so badlyy want oneee ohhhh

robogobo
Oct 28, 2010, 02:54 PM
So wait, you mean I could actually put mine on eBay and export it to China? That's really tempting.

Somewhere, someone is getting killed over a freaking iPhone, no doubt. That's pretty sad.

Somewhere, someone is smuggling an iPhone up their ass out of a factory. That's pretty gross.

acidfast7
Oct 28, 2010, 02:59 PM
really they want to spend $700 and up iPhone?, it is expensive outside of US.

wow, people are rich enough to buy these iPhones

are they reselling these iPhone 4 to US? iPhones are unlocked in China right?

You can buy them unlocked and contract-free for €739 here (iP4 32 GiB). That seems like a reasonable price if you'd like to go with a (multiple) prepaid uSIM(s).

Booga
Oct 28, 2010, 03:07 PM
Maybe Apple should just switch to an auction model so at least if there's going to be scalpers Apple gets the bulk of the extra profit. Drop 10K iPhone4's a day onto eBay for 24-hour auctions, or set up a bidding system on the Online Apple Store.

blackburn
Oct 28, 2010, 03:08 PM
Here unlocked costs 1100eur for the 32GB version(******* expensive). The iPhone wasn't officialy available here and some stores already where selling them for a premium:eek:

edit: used to cost 1300eur

yodachen
Oct 28, 2010, 03:09 PM
In Taiwan, the iPhone 4 just hit the market about a month ago and the supply is still pretty limited. Those carriers are issuing so called "pre-order ticket", which is limited to one per purchaser and has a exact time for purchaser to pick up his/her iPhone 4. It is designed to save people from waiting a long line at any carrier's POS and to prevent scalpers to suck up all the iPhone supply when available. However, such "pre-order ticket" is transferable and having zero out of pocket cost to get one. All you need is to send a request through your carrier's website and you'll get one. So, instead of selling actual iPhone 4, people in Taiwan are selling the "right to purchase", which is priced between 30 to 50 USD depending on the waiting time stated on such ticket. If you are a family of four, you can earned 200 USD in a day without any out of pocket cost.

willzzz88
Oct 28, 2010, 03:11 PM
Apple needs to introduce a more advanced CAPTCHA verification method if possible. Or that the scalpers have teams of people defeating the CAPTCHA (probably) at that screen of their automated shopping bot. LOL.

roland.g
Oct 28, 2010, 03:12 PM
So lemme get this straight. They can make the phones, they just can't buy them. Or are the Chinese units assembled in Alabama?

acidfast7
Oct 28, 2010, 03:15 PM
Here unlocked costs 1100eur for the 32GB version(******* expensive). The iPhone wasn't officialy available here and some stores already where selling them for a premium:eek:

edit: used to cost 1300eur

just take a quick ride to Italy like everyone else ;)

the money you'd save would allow you to stay on a Tuscan farm for a week (250/week last October.)

whistler222
Oct 28, 2010, 03:16 PM
Sucks for Apple also. The premium scalpers charge real customers could be used to buy accessories or maybe even another iPhone.

Wrong.

People who can afford to pay the mega premium for a reseller will be able to afford any accessories they want.

blackburn
Oct 28, 2010, 03:22 PM
just take a quick ride to Italy like everyone else ;)

the money you'd save would allow you to stay on a Tuscan farm for a week (250/week last October.)

Yeah a nice break:cool: I've been to Italy a beautiful country (at least the tourist part:p) so if I had the money I would revisit it and get an iphone :D

Mister Snitch
Oct 28, 2010, 03:22 PM
Its a temporary issue. Once the demand levels off, the scalpers will disappear.

It happened here as well. The Pasadena, CA store had many groups assembled at the direction of scalpers to buy as many iPhones as possible on day 1.

Really. Let the scalpers buy all they want. Legit customers know full well that all they have to do is wait for the price to come down. If the scalpers really buy up every single iPhone, imagine the flood of cheap iPhones that will arrive in China in 6 months.

aajeev
Oct 28, 2010, 03:42 PM
So what?!?! Like the other guy say, just let them buy it all. You won't die if you don't have the iPhone for the next couple weeks. Eventually they will stop, and you will be able to buy it. Just wait....

acidfast7
Oct 28, 2010, 03:53 PM
Yeah a nice break:cool: I've been to Italy a beautiful country (at least the tourist part:p) so if I had the money I would revisit it and get an iphone :D

ppsssttt: I like Portugal better (ice cold Super Bock Imperials overlooking the Tagus from Barrio Alto with a view of Cristo Rei.)

Lisboa is one bad a$$ city.

daneoni
Oct 28, 2010, 04:02 PM
Isn't this old news

kntgsp
Oct 28, 2010, 04:04 PM
Here unlocked costs 1100eur for the 32GB version(******* expensive). The iPhone wasn't officialy available here and some stores already where selling them for a premium:eek:

edit: used to cost 1300eur

Is it only available through carriers in Portugal0?

The 32GB is 739 Euros here in Germany.

silentnite
Oct 28, 2010, 04:12 PM
Once again GREED destroys a good thing.

Makosuke
Oct 28, 2010, 04:45 PM
So my comment was to point out that once a society is allowed to once again become entrepreneurial, they quickly learn all that is legal and good, and just as quickly all that is skirting the rules and laws and is annoying.Based on what I know about Chinese culture and history, I'd say it's a lot more like this:

When you take a country with a several-thousand-year history of mercantilism so ingrained that bargaining is a hobby not an annoying necessity on big-ticket items, then for some bizarre reason try to switch to hard-core communism for a few years, once you loosen the restrictions it's an every man for himself free for all.

China is very good at capitalism, and has been for a long time. The middle of the last century was an extreme aberration, so it's not surprising to see things swing back to the status quo.

Of course, that doesn't mean that scalpers don't piss me off, because they do. It's a normal response to supply and demand mismatch, but given that Apple is attempting to do its customers a favor by not gouging them on pent up demand, I don't like to see the middle man rake in the difference, since they add nothing of value while at least Apple profits might go into a product or service I could use some day.

It would be amusing if Apple were able to ramp up production to a ridiculous degree; you wonder if the scalpers would over-buy and end up flooding the market once they realized they had a huge stock and there were still phones available through regular channels. Or maybe there are enough people who automatically assume the scalper is going to give them a better deal that it'd work out anyway.

blackburn
Oct 28, 2010, 04:46 PM
Looks like macrumors ate my post lol. In Portugal all operators sell iPhones and they all cost the same 780eur:mad:

NebulaClash
Oct 28, 2010, 05:02 PM
Based on what I know about Chinese culture and history, I'd say it's a lot more like this:

When you take a country with a several-thousand-year history of mercantilism so ingrained that bargaining is a hobby not an annoying necessity on big-ticket items, then for some bizarre reason try to switch to hard-core communism for a few years, once you loosen the restrictions it's an every man for himself free for all.

China is very good at capitalism, and has been for a long time. The middle of the last century was an extreme aberration, so it's not surprising to see things swing back to the status quo.

Of course, that doesn't mean that scalpers don't piss me off, because they do. It's a normal response to supply and demand mismatch, but given that Apple is attempting to do its customers a favor by not gouging them on pent up demand, I don't like to see the middle man rake in the difference, since they add nothing of value while at least Apple profits might go into a product or service I could use some day.

It would be amusing if Apple were able to ramp up production to a ridiculous degree; you wonder if the scalpers would over-buy and end up flooding the market once they realized they had a huge stock and there were still phones available through regular channels. Or maybe there are enough people who automatically assume the scalper is going to give them a better deal that it'd work out anyway.

I agree with what you wrote.

What I wrote was being applied to individuals. What you are saying is mass cultural and historical. Russia has a long history of religion. But for eighty years they were forced to ignore religion (or go underground with it). When those restrictions suddenly ended, certainly there was a historical reason to expect a return to old ways. But individuals had to make up their own minds, and many of them had lived as atheists for several generations. For them this was a new idea.

Just as unbridled capitalism is a new idea for individual Chinese alive over the last couple of decades. Even though historically their culture predates us all. I simply wasn't talking about eons of habits, just individuals learning the old ways all over again.

hayhay
Oct 28, 2010, 05:17 PM
You know what would be funny...Apple not make anymore available to China online until they have an enormous stock pile ready to go...then make about a third of that stock pile available online...let the scalpers buy them all up at top price...then release the other 2/3rds to the actual stores with the buying restrictions at a reduced price...put the scalpers out of business for a little while. It wouldn't accomplish anything but a brief slap in the face to the scalpers.

hachre
Oct 28, 2010, 06:49 PM
Credit cards are mostly an American thing plus a few other countries at the most.

They are available and used, albeit not as popular, in all Europe, too. All Online Apple Stores here are credit card only...

ppc_michael
Oct 28, 2010, 07:00 PM
lolchina

powers74
Oct 28, 2010, 07:13 PM
lolchina

exactly.

OrangeSVTguy
Oct 28, 2010, 07:51 PM
Why not just double the price? If people are willing to pay scalpers two or three times as much as MSRP, they would be more than willing to hand that money to Apple. Supply and Demand. When supply is a surplus, they will start to sell for below MSRP and you will be able to find them on every street corner.

SockRolid
Oct 28, 2010, 07:53 PM
Sure, the government is Communist. But there are 1.3 billion would-be entrepreneurs in China. I'm surprised it took ten whole hours to sell out the iPhone 4 online there.

ericschmerick
Oct 28, 2010, 08:28 PM
really they want to spend $700 and up iPhone?, it is expensive outside of US.

wow, people are rich enough to buy these iPhones

are they reselling these iPhone 4 to US? iPhones are unlocked in China right?

The whole "buy this phone cheap with a contract" thing doesn't really exist in China. Actually, it exists, but very very few people take advantage of it, and as far as I know the selection of phones that is offered by the carriers with a contract discount is terrible.

Chinese people are quite used to spending 3000, 4000, 5000 rmb ($450-750) for a phone. It's not like America, where any phone over $99 or $199 is thought of as expensive. But you wind up with a phone that you can use anywhere on any carrier, unlocked, and not filled with weird carrier bloatware.

In my mind its a way way better system than being stuck with these long-term contracts and hoping that the carrier you're stuck with will give you the "privilege" of upgrading when new phones come out (if they even carry the new phones).

ericschmerick
Oct 28, 2010, 08:43 PM
This sucks hard, but I guess is not surprising in any way. There is a huge, huge, segment of the population with little money and lots of time. Think 20-somethings with the alternative to a) work in a hair salon for 800 RMB per month, or b) open a little shop (online or off) and try to squeeze 10, 20, 30, 100 RMB profit on the sale of whatever they can sell.

Even if these guys make, say, 100 RMB profit on a 5000 RMB sale, that 100 RMB profit represents 1/8 of the income they might be able to get from a whole month of working at a restaurant or hair salon or whatever. The threshold for what you must make on scalping stuff to make it "worthwhile" is so much lower, and the supply of people who have the time and inclination is almost limitless.

And basically, then, this situation screws it up for everyone else, who just wants to 过日子 without complication. People often say "it's complicated" to to business in China (and it is), and I believe much of that complication is due to compaines, the govt, etc, having to put endless and overbearing checks/blocks/rules/procedures in place for eveyone to combat the people who will endless scam and work around the system to gain advantage and make a buck.

Grrr.

I wonder if putting an artificial delivery time - like 4 week delivery delay - in place would deter the scalpers a bit?

ericschmerick
Oct 28, 2010, 08:52 PM
can't they just put a limit for 1 or 2 iphone per credit cards?

Unless the scalpers have a few thousand credit cards on standby, otherwise they are not going to be very effective.

I seriously doubt these guys are using credit cards. The online store lists four methods of payment - international credit cards, local credit cards (China Unionpay), something called 支付宝, which is a bit like paypal in China, and direct bank transfer to Apple's CCB account. I'm sure most of the scalpers will be using zhifubao or bank transfer.

There is a whole culture around bank accounts in China that's totally and completely different than in the US. My wife has like 20 different bank cards, all for different uses. Little buckets of money that she segregates off - some for receiving money from relatives, some for keeping money for relatives, blah blah blah. She's at the bank at least twice per week sending money from one card (account) to another, or to / from relatives, etc. It takes almost no time, isn't very expensive, and the money moves instantly (literally, right after you do the transaction at the counter, the person on the other end can check their account and the money will be there). I think it would be probably hard for Apple to try to restrict sales by account number, because it's just too easy for these guys to have 10, 20, 30, 100 different accounts (among a circle of friends).

dlewis23
Oct 28, 2010, 09:03 PM
Well thats a fast sell out. I guess they really do like the iPhone in china.

twoodcc
Oct 28, 2010, 09:08 PM
dang. this might be a big issue for apple in china if they can't come up with something to stop it

valanchan
Oct 28, 2010, 09:28 PM
"Poor immigrant makes about $200 cash a day for a good score and a long day of "shopping" and sitting, then iPimp sells each phone in Hong Kong for $1000 over U.S. retail."

I have seen expensive iPhones and iPads in small Hong Kong shops and they are not selling. People walk by and laugh at the price. There are plenty of official Apple resellers in every shopping mall and shopping area. Stocks were low when they were first released but it's ok now. My two came within a week from the HK online store.

valanchan
Oct 28, 2010, 09:45 PM
In Hong Kong there is no Apple store. Instead there are a lot of official resellers with official prices such as New Horizons, Fortress and Broadway. Go to their websites and see the number of stores they have. Loads! I think there are 7-10 stores between them on Sai Yeung Choi Street, Mong Kok alone.

Apple should do the same in China.

batchtaster
Oct 28, 2010, 11:14 PM
Scalpers should be killed.

lazymocha
Oct 29, 2010, 01:25 AM
"auto-refresh system" - kids get paid to refreshes the pages and make purchases from their controllers while they farm stuff on WoW!

Ping Guo
Oct 29, 2010, 03:12 AM
天高皇帝远 - "Heaven is high and the emperor is far away". This proverb means that away from Beijing, unchecked local authorities are free to spend recklessly and tax their subjects into poverty with impunity, until they rebel of course. ;)

So it has always been with China's informal economy. Economics of scarcity and such. Call them unscrupulous if you will, but Chinese have been taking advantage of market inefficiencies like this for thousands of years. At least it's a luxury item and not food!

batchtaster
Oct 29, 2010, 04:52 AM
Chinese have been taking advantage of market inefficiencies like this for thousands of years.

Scalpers create the inefficiencies. That's why they're called scalpers.

OrangeSVTguy
Oct 29, 2010, 08:10 AM
Scalpers should be killed.

Riight:rolleyes:
Because scalpers are more of a disease to our society than murderers, rapists, and child molesters.

hamlin
Oct 29, 2010, 08:44 AM
Wow, now that I thnik of it, North America is like the greatest place in the world to live (Canada or US). We get everything cheap, make tons of money and can do whatever we want. We can eat whatever we want when we want, we just need to go to the store. If we want to buy the new "thing" thats out we go buy it. If its sold out we go on ebay and pay a little premium but we don't care we have the money to do whatever we want (for the most part).

Not sure how it is in Europe but here in North America its great!

torbjoern
Oct 29, 2010, 12:17 PM
If the prices were more in accordance with what people are willing to pay in the first place (i.e. higher), there wouldn't be any scalpers. The extra premium that people were willing to pay would go to Apple instead of to the scalpers, so that there wouldn't be any profits to collect for the latter either.

JAT
Oct 29, 2010, 01:51 PM
Why not just double the price? If people are willing to pay scalpers two or three times as much as MSRP, they would be more than willing to hand that money to Apple. Supply and Demand. When supply is a surplus, they will start to sell for below MSRP and you will be able to find them on every street corner.
That is not a good solution. Inflating MSRP to cover early adoption rush, or Christmas rush is a long-term nightmare. Fighting scalpers is not a retailer's first priority. They can do it, with purchase limits and so on. But they can't realistically spend more time and money just to fight this.

And, none of this would exist if people weren't: selfish, paranoid, greedy.
Riight:rolleyes:
Because scalpers are more of a disease to our society than murderers, rapists, and child molesters.
Ok, get rid of them first. No problem here.
btw, pretty sure it was a joke. You could relax, as a 3rd option.

TallManNY
Oct 29, 2010, 07:10 PM
Why not just double the price? If people are willing to pay scalpers two or three times as much as MSRP, they would be more than willing to hand that money to Apple. Supply and Demand. When supply is a surplus, they will start to sell for below MSRP and you will be able to find them on every street corner.

Don't you remember the flak that Apple got when it dropped the price of the first iPhone? Yes, Apple could start with just selling the phones for $2,000 the first, month, then $1,000 the second month and then the regular price the third month. Apple could probably make just as much money and there would be much less scalping action since the demand would be much lower at $2,000. But Apple would get bad press for this. The scalpers are a pain, but Apple can't be fully blamed for this and the scalpers keep the product more expensive and hence more elite. Apple sells all its phones at a price that Apple likes and it gets benefit of phones being more elite. So it is kind of a win win for Apple.

Hallivand
Nov 7, 2010, 01:09 AM
Just charge Chinese buyers more than the rest of the world. Considering they rip off practically every product in the Western world, I believe they deserve it.

The13thDoctor
Nov 7, 2010, 02:39 AM
This reminds me of the throngs of Chinese resellers that would descend on Apple 5th Ave in NYC to buy as many iPhones (and iPads) that they could within the two-device per day limit.

They would buy a deuce at full retail price in cash, go outside with their purchase to drop off with Grandma, change their shirt or jacket / put on sunglasses, then return to buy more in their "disguise". :)

Most spoke no English whatsoever besides the words "iPad" or "iPhone" ("34 gee-bee") and big blue vans would drop them off in the morning to buy as many as possible for their "iPimp" who would return to pick them up at the end of the day and collect the loot.

Poor immigrant makes about $200 cash a day for a good score and a long day of "shopping" and sitting, then iPimp sells each phone in Hong Kong for $1000 over U.S. retail.

Crazy, but 100% true.


obviously my friend you do not live in hong kong, before the release of the iphone in hk most of the scalpers in hong kong were selling it at about 8800 HKD which only earns the scalpers about 2000 HKD profit. which is about 2000 dollars HKD over the retail price in hong kong, and since Apple uses the same price around the world i doubt anybody would buy a phone which is around 13800 HKD which is roughly 1780 USD

valanchan
Nov 8, 2010, 12:12 AM
Just charge Chinese buyers more than the rest of the world. Considering they rip off practically every product in the Western world, I believe they deserve it.

You'll feel very silly when you've learnt some history.

Cheers

P.S
A lot of stuff is designed in the west and only manufactured in China.

valanchan
Nov 8, 2010, 12:19 AM
Originally Posted by gatearray
"This reminds me of the throngs of Chinese resellers that would descend on Apple 5th Ave in NYC to buy as many iPhones (and iPads) that they could within the two-device per day limit.

They would buy a deuce at full retail price in cash, go outside with their purchase to drop off with Grandma, change their shirt or jacket / put on sunglasses, then return to buy more in their "disguise".

Most spoke no English whatsoever besides the words "iPad" or "iPhone" ("34 gee-bee") and big blue vans would drop them off in the morning to buy as many as possible for their "iPimp" who would return to pick them up at the end of the day and collect the loot.

Poor immigrant makes about $200 cash a day for a good score and a long day of "shopping" and sitting, then iPimp sells each phone in Hong Kong for $1000 over U.S. retail.

Crazy, but 100% true."

obviously my friend you do not live in hong kong, before the release of the iphone in hk most of the scalpers in hong kong were selling it at about 8800 HKD which only earns the scalpers about 2000 HKD profit. which is about 2000 dollars HKD over the retail price in hong kong, and since Apple uses the same price around the world i doubt anybody would buy a phone which is around 13800 HKD which is roughly 1780 USD

I think both of you are correct.

Here in hong Kong nobody buys scalper priced iPhones when an official can be bought very easily.

They are here of course, but I have seen people comment and laugh at the prices. Unfortunately, the iPhones stay in the glass cabinets collecting dust; what a waste.

The only people making any money are the people hired to queue up.