iPhone 4S in Hong Kong - It's ridiculous! Hate scalpers!

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by GerMo, Dec 1, 2011.


Should Apple do something about this problem? or not, since they are customers too

Poll closed Dec 11, 2011.
  1. Yes

    24 vote(s)
  2. No

    21 vote(s)
  1. GerMo macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2009
    In Hong Kong, the iPhone 4S can only be purchased sim-free by reserving online (iReserve), then buying it at the apple store. Unfortunately, the system is basically useless. For 2 days now, I have refreshed and refreshed and refreshed without stopping. The site is either down, or says unavailable. I have phoned Apple, and they said they release a certain amount of stock everyday.

    This is driving me mad. The stupid scalpers are buying out all the stock and in simple words, I don't stand a chance. I just can't stand by 24/7 to know when they release the stock each day without sleeping.

    Anyone out there experiencing the same problem?
  2. TheMacBookPro macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2008
    Funny thing is carrier shops like Three have plenty of stock last time I checked.

    Pay the markup like I did for my first 4S :)
  3. GerMo thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2009
    Yeh I know. As a matter of fact, all the carriers have stock. This proves that it's mainly the scalpers who are buying all the stock, and it's what makes me fed up.

    I currently have a contract already, that's why I can't sign another one. My mum has already bought the 4S through 'three' on a contract. They've got loads of stock there, but unfortunately, they don't sell sim-free phones.
  4. marksman macrumors 603


    Jun 4, 2007
    Just wait until demand is satiated and scalpers have no more market and then get one.

    It may take a while.

    Plus I do not know if it is fair or accurate to think that all the devices are being claimed by scalpers.
  5. GerMo thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2009
    True, but I say that because I read a local news article about the scalpers having acquired a software, where they buy personal details from the general public, including credit card no., apple id...etc. for $500/person. $100 bonus/ extra person you recommend. Once they plug in all the info, then they just access the apple reserve system and they automatically get all the quota. So basically, I cannot race against them. Their system is automated.


    fyi, in hong kong dollar.


  6. aluren macrumors 65816

    Sep 9, 2008
    There was a big discussion on scalpers with the iPad 2. While Apple has done some things to fix it, like no cash, max 2 purchases per person, it still would not circumvent the pro-scalpers, just like the methods you mentioned. But it does help get rid of some "non-sophisticated" scalpers. And actually it makes it worst because the pros are now coming up with new efficient ways, and that will hurt your chances even more.

    Like others have said, if you really want one, then you're gonna have to pay a premium at other stores or ebay/online. Apple can't really do anything and shouldn't because the scalpers are making them profitable. They would not care about the normal consumer, and it actually makes you want one even more, which once again helps Apple.
  7. rockyroad55 macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    Seriously, even in the US, when lines form up, there are a lot of Asians that buy the phones out of contract by the boatloads. Even if it is 1 per person, they bring all their friends. When the white iPhone 4 was finally released, I saw at least 80% of the people in line were Asians.
  8. GerMo thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2009
    Very true, honestly, I rather line up to get one, rather than have pro-scalpers use their more efficient methods of getting the iPhone. As for the iPad 2, yes. THere were many scalpers. But the main difference between iPad and iPhone is that I can only get the iPhone from the Apple store or carriers. Whereas for iPad, I can get it in nearly every electronic store out there.
  9. rockyroad55 macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    You can get the iPhone at Wal-Mart, RadioShack, Best Buy.
  10. iLuvMyMacToo macrumors regular

    May 18, 2010
    Same thing here in Australia with the iPad2 and then within a week (when Apple stock was well dried up) suddenly there were Ipad2's being sold in Asian computer stores for $200 or more than their store value. It happens all the time here.
  11. aluren macrumors 65816

    Sep 9, 2008
    OP's talking about Hong Kong. Until Apple opens retail stores at every conceivable location in China and adequately address the strong demands there, you are going to get scalpers. Apple is notoriously popular in China nowadays.
  12. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Here's the better question... what can Apple do about it? OP asks if something should be done. I'll bite. Yes, something should. Ok, now what?
  13. tonyunreal macrumors regular


    Feb 25, 2010
    Even though I agree with OP, I don't think there is much Apple can do about it, since many of the scalpers really were just, you know, like ordinary customers to their stores.

    The best Apple can do is to make sure mainland China always gets new products before Hongkong does, so that the scalpers have a much smaller market, but that doesn't seem quite possible at least in months considering the extra approval needed for each product from government agencies and cloudy relations between Apple and the Chinese carriers.
  14. TheMacBookPro macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2008
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I have a contract too. I signed up for a 24 month contract with three last year when the iPhone 4 was released. Much to my surprise they were ok with just extending the contract another two years (so my contract now ends in 2014) and giving me a 16GB 4S for free.

    I'd ask your carrier. Apparently demand isnt that high so they're willing to sell it to anyone who's up for a contract extension.
  15. GerMo thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2009
    Oh really, that's kinda sweet. Maybe I should.

    But anyway, I guess what can be done is a very tricky question, and I will leave that to the Apple management team to do. They actually told me they were investigating on this already, trying to find another method for selling iPhones. In addition, I guess it's more about future prevention rather than to immediately stop the problem now.


    Hmm... Yeh I guess you have more options in the US. But i'm talking about the situation in Hong Kong.
  16. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    How about require ID matching the name on the reservation? It would cause a few problems with legitimate purchases (can't send a friend to pick up your phone for you), but the VAST majority stopped would be scalpers.
  17. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    This .. plus purchase limit, say each person can only buy 2 iPhones max, but yeah .. why would Apple care, scalpers or not, sales number is the only thing that matters in the end :(
  18. TheMacBookPro macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2008
    There's a reason why Apple HK are willing to sell 10 per person while every other country has a limit of 2 per person.

    I don't think it's because they're concerned about families with eight children.
  19. gloryunited macrumors 6502

    Oct 29, 2010
    Apple just LOVES the scalping (to China). :)

    I voted for Yes Apple should do something. But the thing is, No they won't do anything.
    If they really want to prevent this, they would have set the limit to 2 per person at the very beginning, just like in any other country.

    That's why I bought mine on a contract. Can't wait indefinitely for the outright phone...
  20. GerMo thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2009
    lol! totally agree.
  21. jackiepie macrumors newbie

    May 14, 2008
  22. GerMo thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2009
    It's now 1:49am in HK, I finally entered the iReserve system. Got all my details in, and asked for my HKID. After numerous attempts validate my ID, because they didn't state clearly whether you needed the eg. A123456(x) brackets, they said the product I am reserving is no longer available! :mad::mad::mad::mad:

    I WAITED FOR SO MANY DAYS, and FINALLY the system had stock. I thought I beat the scalpers to it!

    Right now, I am really really really angry!
  23. redd herring macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    every HK'er is a scalper

    I feel your pain. been trying for 2 weeks, finally got in, selected my pick-up time, entered my ID card info and then it wouldn't allow me to book. but i took screenshots of the issue on my ipod touch and took it to the apple store for proof. spoke to a so called "manager" who did nothing but make idiotic sad facial expressions and saying how sorry she is (which she wasn't!) & that they can't do anything. but by logic, shouldn't the system already hold a phone for you since you entered your pick up time and ID info? Maybe, this is another of Apple's way to get your private information from us. - Anyway, if all HK'ers refuse to give out their personal info to scalpers, we wouldn't be having this issue... And all for what?... a few dollars of pocket money.. truly pathetic.

    Unfortunately (for apple), i went on to purchase a samsung galaxy S as i needed to buy a b'day present that day.
  24. Lunchb0x8 macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2010
    Aberglasslyn, NSW, AU
    I got my iPad2 on launch day in Australia, in front of me, was a guy of about 60 years of age, his 24 year old Chinese wife got him to come with her to buy iPads as it was 2 per person, so they could send 3 back to her brother in China.

    They blatantly told me this so that he could get profit, they offered to give me cash to buy a second one (as I was only after 1 for myself) so they could send him 4, I told them politely that their behaviour was terrible and exploitative, and I would not support it.

    They then spent the following hour of being in line asking those around me and me again if they couldn't convince me, I told them to shut it or I would happily mug them in the carpark so they would have none.

    Of course, I am not a violent person or thief, but them brandishing this attitude and then harassing me to try and do the same thing for them annoyed me so badly.

    Now my comments at the beginning, are not saying that all Chinese people are scalpers, just pointing out that this 24 year old woman somehow fell in love with and married a guy nearly 3 times her age, which can happen, but the fact that he had enough money to buy 4 iPads and she was an unemployed student (they told me) suggests her motives for marriage were not quite love...
  25. GerMo, Dec 5, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011

    GerMo thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2009
    Whao, this is incredible. I just can't believe it, you have done exactly the same thing. I have taken a screenshot of the near-booking as well! and I was planning on going to complain!
    But in the end, I thought I had to show them I wasn't going to be driven by their stupid system. I't I just went to three to buy one on a contract.


    Good job! You have done the correct thing. Those scalpers are driving me nuts.
    As a side note: yes, not all chinese people are scalpers, coz i'm chinese too, from hong kong not mainland!!! lol :)

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