iPhone Black Market Still Thriving In China, Russia (AAPL)

Want an 8GB iPhone 3G in Russia? Get ready to pay $1,200. What about a 16GB model? How does $1,370 sound?

While Apple negotiates with carriers to bring its iPhones to Russia and China — two of the biggest wireless markets left untapped by Apple — the black market is still thriving, the AP reports. Some 400,000 iPhones are supposedly in Russia, and perhaps twice that in China.

So what’s taking so long? Apple (AAPL) boss Steve Jobs told CNBC in June that the company is still trying to jump through regulatory hoops in China, but that iPhones should be available there and in Russia later this year.

In March, we said that the biggest hurdle standing in Apple’s way in China was revenue sharing; Apple’s initial deals with carriers for the first iPhone included monthly payments to Apple. But now Apple has shown that they’re willing to do away with revenue sharing deals, and letting carriers subsidise iPhones for consumers — which should make negotiating much easier.

See Also:
Apple’s iPhone In China: Coming Soonish
China Mobile: 400,000 Unlocked iPhones On Our Network

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