unlocked iPhone from Hong Kong

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by VinegarTasters, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. VinegarTasters macrumors 6502


    Nov 20, 2007
    Has anyone ever seen any iPhones in Hong kong? Before it was the destination to purchase an unlocked iPhone for use anywhere in the world.

    But it looks like for iPhone 5, nobody is buying it. Everyone is simply selling to the retailers, who are hoarding them to sell at higher price. (purposely for market price skewing). iPhone 5's are now on average $300+ higher.

    It is so odd, NOBODY in the tiny Hong Kong carries an iPhone 5. Everyone there knows you can make a quick buck selling to the retailers. While they sucker the international buyers. In fact, it is doing the opposite of iPhone attraction for the first time. It is iPhone profit. You don't buy an iPhone to keep it, but to get rid of it for a quick buck. It is not seen as a status symbol, it is now seen as someone to get rid of to make a profit! I don't know how this will reflect later on, but it seems to have had a weird motivation for people to not consider buying it at all! Everyone knows it is stupid to buy something so expensive just for the retailers to make a quick buck. However, I see lots of people carrying Note 2 and galaxy 3. As they know these phones are not purposely jacked up in price, and you can get a good deal for the technology.

    I don't know if this trend is good or not. I think it actually affects it badly. People don't see them in the street, so people think it is not popular. And there is less free marketing of the product. Retailers hoard them, and only let out a few at a time to keep prices high, arbitrarily keeping the number of iPhones sold at a minimum, which in the end lets Apple make less money because of less phone sold. This is a weird market.
  2. i7QuadCoreMania, Oct 19, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012

    i7QuadCoreMania macrumors 6502

    Nov 10, 2009
    back in the early 2000s I used to visit Hong Kong almost every year and come home with a new Unlocked phone each year.

    Sen Dat in Mong Kok and Sai yee gai, and sam shui poo Golden computer were my paradises.

    The iphone 5 This time around is a very different animal, as you know, the LTE frequencies are different Globally, so an iPhone 5 purchased in HK would never catch LTE in the States and an LTE iphone 5 from the states wouldn't work in HK. HSPA+ is fine for most people, but if you area has LTE, there is a huge speed difference at least in my exp.

    Also, the iphones are much easier to unlock these days, sellers on ebay will whitelist your imei # for less than 5 bucks.

    I just read an article that in HK they are sold out everywhere, I doubt it's because they aren't popular, if that were the case you'd see them instock everywhere in HK.

    But I do recall that if retailers have them instock they will jack up the price for them. I bought a japanese psp Sui foo, 1 month after the japanese release, and every week the price would change and inventory levels fluctuated.

    I agree HK is a weird market. No one in America would walk into an electronics store and pay more than retail price for anything just cause it's sold out everywhere.

    Also remember this phone has only been out for about 1 month, so it'll take time to get into peoples hands.

    I was in Hakata City Fukuoka Japan in May, almost everyone had either an iphone 4/4s or a japanese flip phone.

    I'm sure it's just a matter of time before you see more and more people with iphones, esp. the mainland china folks, they'll sell anything (even kidneys) to get one.
  3. ANMA dojo macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2010
    I don't think Apple is making any less money. In the USA for instance, stock disappears as fast as it arrives. Even if people they are being sold to resellers, so as far as Apple is concerned, they have already sold the phones to someone, and Apple has already made its profit from those phones.
    I don't get you. Do you wish for the iphone 5 to be reflected more as a status symbol (only for those who aren't out to make a quick buck -- only those with money, thus not everyone has one), or as a popular, ubiquitous product that anyone can just buy and you see everywhere in the street?
  4. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    OK I don't understand this.

    U buy a locked phone in the U.S. for usd$200, u bring it back to Asia and have it unlock there and sell for 5x+ but what happens to the plan you sign up back in the U.S.? U give them the CC, so they are going to charge u. Where is the profit?
  5. ANMA dojo macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2010
    I don't understand you, this thread has nothing to do with locked USA iphones.

    but to answer your off-topic:
    -most resellers are buying the full priced ($649) device without contract; they make the least profit, but are still able to inflate the price and sell due to the limited availability of the iphone 5 worldwide (even within the USA)

    -those buying 2 year contract are likely people already established with a carrier and:
    --a) already happy with their existing device, and want to selling their line upgrade as a profit ($199 for a $649 device = $450+ profit)
    --b) adding an extra line to their existing family plans ($199 device + $10/month x 24 months = $439 for $649 device, thus $210+ profit)

    -those with a locked 2 year contract phone don't need to go to Asia to unlock it, it can be done via ebay for about $5-10 here
  6. VinegarTasters, Oct 19, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012

    VinegarTasters thread starter macrumors 6502


    Nov 20, 2007
    The prices are crazy. I'll give you a rundown:

    iPhone 5 16GB (black):
    Apple Retail: HK$5588
    Normal Retail: HK$8500

    HK $3000 markup

    iPhone 5 32GB (black):
    Apple Retail: HK$6388
    Normal Retail: HK$8900

    HK $2600 markup

    iPhone 5 16GB (from USA):
    Normal Retail: HK$7400

    HK $2000 markup? So HK $2000 would cover buying in USA, shipping to HK.

    US $1 = HK $7.75

    So a HK$3000 markup is USD $387. They make close to $400 for 16GB and $300 for 32GB. I am on the fence. With all the wi-fi and screen issues, perhaps it is better that these early adopters pay higher and risk dealing with the defects and reporting them. So Apple makes a second batch that corrects them?

    Also the prices fluctuate constantly. Around HK$200 up or down daily. So in a week it would be up or down HK$1000. The retailers had a few USA brands imported and they are HK$1000 lower usually.

    In the end no one is buying but selling to the retailers.
  7. ANMA dojo macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2010
    I agree with this statement, but not the one from your first post:
    I don't understand the logic, since Apple has already sold it to someone (who then sold to someone else at a markup).
  8. VinegarTasters thread starter macrumors 6502


    Nov 20, 2007
    Yes, but follow this logic:

    There is no demand! People just don't buy them. The retailers sell less of them because they hoard them. So the cycle is less phones sold overall.

    Now you might say, well the profit makers are grabbing all the stock. NOT TRUE! It is a lottery system. Only those who register online gets them. But these people are less than regular shoppers (who now refuse to buy at jacked up prices). So if you are concerned about Apple, they actually sell less phones because the profiteers don't absorb all the phones. They only absorb the online people, not the walk in people. (you can't walk in and purchase even at the apple store, it is all online lottery).

    What I am saying is, there is a perception of being ripped off if you purchase one at retail. So no one will buy it retail. You can't buy it at Apple store retail. So it is a weird game of how much retailers can hoard the phones and how much to let out each day so they can skew the prices.

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