Hundreds of Apple fans queued outside Apple’s Hong Kong store last Friday for an iPhone 4S launch with a difference.
Unlike those queuing in the US, UK, Japan and other places, Apple enthusiasts were not in line for the latest iPhone 4S, which is yet to be released in the county. Instead they queued for the iPhone 4 after the company slashed prices of the phone in Hong Kong.
It had been suggested that queuers had been misled into believing the new device was available in Hong Kong, but the reality is that clever marketing from Apple Store Hong Kong created buzz and sold a number of devices which will soon be outdated by the iPhone 4S.
Photos from the queue from Techno Buffalo show a huge turnout which is a testament to the appeal of Apple and the phone which has been available publicly for some time.
Instead would-be iPhone 4S owners will need to wait until 28 October, when Hong Kong will be one of 23 countries amongst the second wave to beging selling the device. In the meantime there are alternative options for impatient fans with deep pockets – the ‘grey market’.
According to AFP, the iPhone 4S is available through unofficial resellers in Hong Kong for anything between HK$10,000 and HK$12,000 ($1,300-$1,500). That’s around six times higher than the US price, albeit that the latter includes a lengthy contract with operator which allows for a discounted cost.
Apple fever in Asia has seen the region’s grey markets boom while the counterfeit device space has faded considerably. Hundreds of unofficial resellers source their devices from abroad, or less legitimate sources, to satisfy the impetuosity of those Asian Apple fans that cannot stand to wait for an official release date in their country.