Gone in 12 minutes: iPhone X flies off virtual shelves as orders halted in a flash on first day

Many of the early purchasers are believed to be touts hoping to make a generous profit reselling the phones

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 October, 2017, 4:11pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 28 October, 2017, 2:24am


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Online orders for the much-hyped Apple iPhone X ended just 12 minutes after the session began on Friday afternoon.

At 3.13pm – 12 minutes after the website began operation at 3.01pm – all variants of the gadget were snapped up.

Many of the early purchasers were believed to be touts hoping to make a generous profit reselling the phones, which start at HK$8,588 (US$1,100) per set.

A separate website allowing people to reserve and pick up their handsets at an Apple Store was also closed in less than 10 minutes.

“We’re not taking reservations to buy iPhone right now. You can shop online now and select another purchase option,” the website read.

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“Reservations will reopen at 8am on November 4.”

But a small group of lucky buyers managed to get in and reserve their phones, which are available for collection on November 3.

Those who failed to secure the latest model expressed their disappointment online. Some even complained they were never able to access the website before orders were suspended.

Hailed as the 10th anniversary model of the iPhone, the iPhone X’s launch has been much anticipated by tech lovers around the world.

The strong demand, coupled with limited supply, meant there is likely to be a robust secondary market.

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It is speculated those who could get their hands on the phone in the first days of the launch could make profits of more than HK$10,000, double the price of the 256GB model at HK$9,888.

However, professional traders at Sincere Podium, also known as Sin Tat Plaza, in Mong Kok were cautious about fixing a price too early.

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Contrary to popular belief, Alex Yeung of Mobile Empire explained the price is set by cunning distributors and authorised resellers who are reluctant to sell the phones in-store.

“At the store these businesses must sell the phones at the price set by Apple. But if they withhold the stock and resell them to us in bulk, they would make a much bigger profit,” he said.

These distributors would usually reveal their asking price just before delivery, Yeung added, and only the traders in the know would find out the prices.