Reports have been circulating that a man by the name of “Mr. Lo” is notorious for obtaining limited stocks of Apple products prior to their official release.
What does this mean for a consumer? Well this means that if you just have to be the first person with the latest gadget, Lo will certainly sell it to you, with a mark-up that nearly doubles the retail price. Lo is selling the iPhone 5 currently for $1,100 while Apple’s retail will be somewhere in the area of $720. Substantial indeed.
When Lo was asked about the sales of the iPhone 5, whether there would be a demand for it, he said the stock for the iPhone 5 is quite tight, so he thinks it will be alright to re-sell the phone for a hefty markup, at least for the first two weeks. What’s more, he has prepared “secret” couriers in U.S. and Europe to hop on planes to Hong Kong after securing about hundreds of iPhone 5s. Right now Lo has already received 100-200 orders from mainland China customers before the iPhone 5 goes on sale in Hong Kong’s Apple retail store.
Lo does not limit himself to striclty these methods to obtaining the iPhone 5 and other pre-released devices, he also has a standing offer to purchase sealed iPhone 5’s from individuals for roughly $200 over their purchase price. This will ensure that he has a sufficient inventory for the tight demand in the first few weeks of the Asian market.
Hong Kong is no stranger to the “grey” market as it is called. This has been one of the biggest avenues for new iPhones bound for China, as the release dates for this region are typically pushed further back than many other countries. Apple has made an effort to counter these efforts by placing purchasing limits on new devices. Unlike most other countries, Hong Kong will not be able to pre-order the iPhone 5 on-line, so they will be forced to purchase them in-store on Friday morning at 8:00am.