Apple’s inability to supply the insane demand for the new gold iPhone 5S has created a second-hand iPhone price bubble on eBay and a black market of gold iPhone scalpers in China.
It’s not clear why Apple can’t give everyone who wants one a gold iPhone. Officially, online orders with Apple won’t be fulfilled until October. We noted over the weekend that the gold iPhone never actually existed in some stores, countries, and among some wireless carriers. The flagship Apple Store in San Francisco, for instance, only ever had 20 gold iPhones.
With the gold iPhone completely unavailable to ordinary consumers minutes after it went on sale, some have turned to eBay, where gold iPhones are selling for as much as $4,600 at the time of writing (pack of three). That’s the highest ask, but in active auctions gold iPhones are seeing brisk bidding all the way up to $US2,247.
In China, a gold iPhone on the “grey market” will cost you the equivalent of $US1,634, about twice the price of retail. Scalpers were buying gold iPhones in Hong Kong on the day of sale for US$1,161, still more than the $US721 original price tag.
Lastly, a company called Gold Genie is selling a real gold-plated version of the iPhone starting at $US2,850. An actual iPhone 5S isn’t actually gold, of course. It’s coloured aluminium. Gold Genie’s version is actual gold plate:
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