Mainland Chinese Apple fans ignite 'gold rush' over new iPhones

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 September, 2013, 5:11am

The mainland iPhone fever hit Hong Kong yesterday as the latest models of the smartphone made their double debut in the city.

Despite the products' simultaneous availability on the mainland, Apple fans still took the earliest flights here to secure the gold iPhone 5S, which they believe is "made to the British standard".

Zhang Mengshu, who arrived from Nanjing the night before, waited outside a store for four hours from 6am.

He could not join the queue as the shop offered the new devices only to those who had registered online in advance.

But he eventually met a local speculator, who offered him a silver 16-gigabyte iPhone 5S at HK$6,600 - HK$1,000 higher than the market price.

"Silver isn't my first choice. I wanted the gold one," Zhang said. "But it's better than buying one on the mainland because the quality of Apple products sold in Hong Kong is better."

Xiao Xuan from Beijing agreed: "Hong Kong products are made to the British standard."

Xiao, who registered online for two black 16GB iPhone 5S last week, was also disappointed at the limited supply of the gold-coloured models. They were sold out a couple of hours after online registration began on Tuesday.

The iPhone 5S comes in gold, silver or space grey, and costs from HK$5,588 to HK$7,188, depending on storage size. They cost HK$1,000 more on the mainland due to exchange rate differences. Mainland Apple fans in Hong Kong were willing to pay up to HK$9,000 for the cheapest model, but their local counterparts were less impressed.

"Many say the 'S' in iPhone 5S stands for 'same'," said Derek Ngai, who runs an Apple product workshop in Hong Kong. "Products sold here are also made in the mainland factories."


Video:Apple stores in Hong Kong open up for iPhone 5C and 5S pre-orders