Apple Seeks to Thwart iPhone Scalpers in Hong Kong with New Reservation System

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Apr 12, 2001
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Seeking to thwart would-be iPhone scalpers in Hong Kong, Apple has instituted a new reservation system (via 9to5Mac) to handle in-store purchases. With the new system, customers wishing to purchase an iPhone at the company's retail store in the IFC Mall must request a reservation between 9:00 AM and noon one day prior to their desired purchase. By 9:00 PM that same day, Apple will determine stock levels for the following day and notify customers who are granted reservations for the following morning.




Apple's previous reservation system had opened at irregular times during the day, with bots run by scalpers snapping up all available slots within seconds. Under the new system, customers wishing to make reservations will need to list contact information and their government ID numbers, with Apple presumably cross-checking that information before granting the reservations. Customers will then have to show their government ID once they arrive to purchase an iPhone 4Sunder their reservation.
Due to high demand, we are accepting a limited number of iPhone reservations per day. To request an iPhone reservation, please choose your store and the iPhone you want. If we have an iPhone reservation for you, you'll receive a confirmation email by 9:00 p.m. tonight that includes the time when you can pick up your iPhone tomorrow. A government-issued photo ID matching the name and ID number on your reservation is required for iPhone purchases. If you don't receive an email, we were unable to reserve an iPhone for you, and you can try again another time. Only those who receive an email confirming their reservation will be able to purchase an iPhone; we will not be selling iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S to walk-in customers.
Hong Kong is only one area where Apple has experienced problems with scalpers snapping up all available stocks of popular iPhone models. Violence associated with the iPhone 4S launch in mainland China resulted Apple halting all in-store sales at the company's five retail stores in mainland China earlier this month, and the company has yet to reinstate in-store sales in that country.

Article Link: Apple Seeks to Thwart iPhone Scalpers in Hong Kong with New Reservation System
 

daxomni

macrumors 6502
Jun 24, 2009
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but we border the lines of idolatry right?
I thought we passed that line a long time ago? Today's Apple structure seems to have little if any of the alternative cred that the pre-iPhone Apple company had and that drew me to them in the first place. Today's Apple is more like a hip, cool, and hyper-sensitive love child between Grandma Microsoft and Grandpa Intel.

Greedy scalpers making money =/= idolatry.
Ah, but without the idolatry who would be paying outrageous scalper prices for a PHONE?
 
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Lennholm

macrumors 6502a
Sep 4, 2010
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but we border the lines of idolatry right? :eek:
Not really in this case. This isn't about people suffering through long, cold nights in a queue just to get a phone, it's about crooks harvesting all they can get because they know they willget them sold with profit somewhere else
 

maattp

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Aug 5, 2011
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Maybe they should ramp up production instead of creating artificial demand.
 

Will do good

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Mar 24, 2010
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Maybe they should ramp up production instead of creating artificial demand.
You don't think Apple is making it as fast as they can?

If they work anymore hours than people would say Apple is working them to death...
 

JHankwitz

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Oct 31, 2005
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Maybe they should ramp up production instead of creating artificial demand.
You've got that right. Cut out lunch and bio breaks. :mad:
 

salmoally

macrumors regular
Jan 26, 2012
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I welcome anything that makes a Scalper question his/her choice of career.

Missed out on so many online gig ticket sales, only to see them on ebay for 4 times the price seconds later makes me kinda angry.
 

firewood

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Jul 29, 2003
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Maybe they should ramp up production instead of creating artificial demand.


The other way to match demand with supply, and get rid of scalpers, is to temporarily raise the price of iPhones in the markets where scalpers operate. A high enough price, and large scale scalping becomes unprofitable.
 

haplain

macrumors member
May 18, 2011
66
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where there is a will, there's a way

This used to be a huge issue even in the states. When I worked during the initial iPhone and iPhone 3G launch we were constantly trying to stay ahead of scalpers. People would literally bring their whole work in, hand them cash, and use their social security numbers to have access to many more. What they really need to do is sell them online solely for about 6 months. That way everyone has the same "fair access" and it would decrease the demand for them right now.
 

TallManNY

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Nov 5, 2007
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The other way to match demand with supply, and get rid of scalpers, is to temporarily raise the price of iPhones in the markets where scalpers operate. A high enough price, and large scale scalping becomes unprofitable.
They can't raise prices in China because the Chinese government will feel like its citizens are being taken advantage of by a western company. The Chinese government doesn't care if there is scalping but they do care if Apple suddenly starts to double their profit.
 

MacbookSwitcher

macrumors 6502
Mar 13, 2007
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This used to be a huge issue even in the states. When I worked during the initial iPhone and iPhone 3G launch we were constantly trying to stay ahead of scalpers. People would literally bring their whole work in, hand them cash, and use their social security numbers to have access to many more. What they really need to do is sell them online solely for about 6 months. That way everyone has the same "fair access" and it would decrease the demand for them right now.
I don't think it was/is the same in the States. This reaction seems to be correlated with Chinese cultural characteristics.
 

bniu

macrumors 6502a
Mar 21, 2010
989
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but we border the lines of idolatry right? :eek:
I sat next to an apple exec level guy (not naming names) on a plane once and I told him about the chinese kid who sold his kidney for an iPad. He just shook his head and said "this product fanaticism sometimes just goes too far..."
 

howyoudoin

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Feb 6, 2002
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Maybe they should ramp up production instead of creating artificial demand.

How many did they sell last quarter, 37 million? 20 million was their best quarter before that so I would say they are ramping up production as best they can
 

TheMacBookPro

macrumors 68020
May 9, 2008
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Hong Kong is only one area where Apple has experienced problems with scalpers snapping up all available stocks of popular iPhone models.
With Apple (previously) letting Hong Kong users order up to 10, unlike the 2-per-person limit implemented in every single other country, I cannot see why :rolleyes:
 

kalsta

macrumors 68000
May 17, 2010
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A scalping industry really does rely on there being more demand than supply, so the simplest solution is for Apple to increase supply to these areas. If consumers knew they could get a phone at retail price within a couple of weeks, there would be little incentive to pay more to the scalpers. In my mind, all the uncertainty and increased inconvenience of buying from Apple is fertile ground for scalpers.

You don't think Apple is making it as fast as they can?
If Apple knew the worldwide market for iPhones was about to double, you don't think they'd invest in new factories to meet the demand? Managing production and supply around the world can't be an easy thing, but Apple does have options. They can (and do) stagger launch dates across different countries, so as demand starts to slow in one country, they can launch in another, and so on. I would guess the ideal goal would be to keep all factories at near 100% production until the next model is ready to go into production, and to move phones off the shelf as soon as possible. It may not be in their commercial interests to build up a larger inventory and flood the Chinese market with iPhones on launch day, but I'm sure they could do it if they wanted to, and it would essentially eliminate the localised scalping problem overnight.