HK shoppers rush to buy Apple’s iPhone 5

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 September, 2012, 2:29pm
UPDATED : Friday, 21 September, 2012, 7:59pm

An instant profit of up to HK$3,000 awaited shoppers who bought one of Apple’s new iPhones, which went on sale in Hong Kong on Friday morning.

The release of the iPhone 5 drew a crowd of nearly 100 speculators outside the company’s flagship store in Central. Customers who emerged with the new phones were offered between HK$7,000 and HK$8,500 for the 16GB model – which costs HK$5,588 in the store.

Some said the best prices were offered by parallel traders from the mainland, driven by the high demand for the gadget in China.

But some diehard Apple fans said they would pass up the easy profits and keep the new phone for their own use.

At the head of the queue outside Apple’s Central store on Friday morning was Brigitte Cheung, who bought two white, 16GB iPhone 5s and said she planned to keep both for her own use.

“It’s exciting that I am among the first group to get our hands on the gadget,” she said. “I’ve been using iPhones since they first hit the market.”

Meanwhile, in Mong Kok, more than 100 people had gathered outside Sunion Telecom, a premium reseller of Apple products, by around 7am. A woman in her 60s, who was second in the queue, said she began waiting at 2am.

The shop had 70 of the new phones in stock, and sold out soon after opening for business.

About 10 speculators who bought at Sunion took their new phones to Mong Kok’s Sin Tat Plaza to sell them to parallel traders. Shops there offered the 16GB phones for between HK$8,800 and HK$9,300.

Carmen Wong of Wiki Technology said she had sold 20 of the phones on Friday morning, with the biggest buyer spending more than HK$100,000 on 11 phones, saying they would be gifts for friends.

Queues were also seen outside One 2 Free and 3HK stores in Mong Kok. The two companies accepted walk-in purchases on Friday, while competitor Smartone was selling only pre-ordered iPhone 5s.

Apple has been selling the iPhone 5 through a lucky draw, picking out names from prospective buyers who register online. The successful applicants are notified by e-mails telling them what time to redeem their purchases the next day. The company has not said how much longer it will use the draws.