The Apple iPhone 4S debuted in Hong Kong (香港) on Friday, setting off a scramble as thousands lined up to get their hands on one of the devices.
The 16G iPhone4S was sold at HK$5,088 (US$ 654) and the 32G iPhone4S at HK$5,888 (US$ 757).
At its store in the IFC mall, 1,200 people lined up just in the morning alone. Take a look at the crazy lines in this video we found on YouTube.
Each person was only allowed to buy five iPhones. But that didn’t stop the scalpers. A gray market was quickly set up inside the mall as some who were lucky enough to get their hands on an iPhone 4S started selling them.
The Hong Kong tech blog MIC Gadget says at least one incident of robbery occurred in the mall. They also produced a fun video of the action, which they gave us permission to post, or you can see their entire story here.
Ynet.com, the website for Beijing Youth Daily, published an article on the police reinforcements in Hong Kong, stationed to stop scalper activity. There were reports that scalpers had lined up outside stores offering HK$ 1,000-2,000 or more for an new iPhone.
An account called the Apple Report (苹果报道) on the Sina microblog (新浪微博) quoted a student who had lined up to buy the product in order to resell it.
The first person to buy an iPhone4S on the first day of sale in Hong Kong’s Apple Store was a student with the surname of Xie. He bought five phones and admitted that he will go on to sell these at the profit of HK$ 1,500-2,000 each. The student had waited in line for four days, and stood in line with seven other friends.
On Sina microblog, the user KawingKwok complained that her dad bought her a Samsung Galaxy instead of what she really wanted – the iPhone4S.
Also on Sina microblog, people were talking about being trendy after getting the phone. “I have an iPhone 4S. I am now fashionable,” said Sir Wang (王Sir).
- On the digital products forum eprice.com.cn, pictures were posted from the opening for sales in stores like CSL 1010, One2Free, 3 Hong Kong and SmarTone, which garnered many views. Commenters talked about the number of mainlanders who were lining up, as well as enthusiasm for the product.
adeam: Let’s go, put up a tent and bring over the chairs. I need to buy an iPhone even if I don’t go to school or work.
!v!: 70% of those in line are from the mainland, the mainland market has already started peddling Hong Kong iphones
Although the phone hasn’t yet premiered on the Chinese mainland, smuggled goods have already appeared. Sohu reports that the Hong Kong edition of the phones have started to appear in Beijing’s electronics retail market, Zhongguancun (中关村).
However, at 6000 yuan (US$945) very few people are buying. Once stock from Hong Kong gets in, however, prices are expected to drop. The iPhone 4S will officially arrive in China within a year, experts say.
So will you be going for an iPhone 4S or one of the new Android phones that we wrote about last month?