Apple adopts lottery system for iPhone 5 sales in Hong Kong

Apple adopts lottery system for iPhone 5 sales in Hong Kong

Summary: Scalpers are reselling iPhone 5 up to US$1,550 per set due to scarce supply in the city.


Apple has suspended direct sales of the new iPhone 5 in Hong Kong, choosing again to adopt a lottery reserving system which requires consumers to send applications online a day prior the purchase date.

Only those who have received a confirmation e-mail will be able to purchase up to two sets of iPhone 5 at  Apple stores in Hong Kong.

A similar approach was adopted by Apple for the sales of Apple's new iPad in the first half this year, which is believed to combat a large number of scalpers looking to resell these machines to mainland China for profits.

Due to the lottery system, local report said the number of fans queuing outside the Apple retail store in Hong Kong was limited on Friday when iPhone 5 was officially launched in the city.

However, the scarce supply pulled up the selling prices of iPhone 5 in the underground market in Hong Kong. Reports said scalpers purchased the new iPhone 16G--which is priced HK$5,588 (US$721) in the Apple retail store--for HK$8,000 (US$1,032) from those who succeeded in buying one through the lottery system. The scalpers will then resell the handset between HK$8,500 (US$1,096) and HK$12,000 (US$1,548).

The Chinese market was not on the list of the first-batch of iPhone 5 sales. However, Chinese smugglers indicated in the reports that by the night of Friday, people in Beijing will also be able to purchase iPhone in the underground market, but at an even higher cost.

Topics: iPhone, Apple, China, Hong Kong

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  • Cyrus' really. . . .

    "reports that by the night of Friday", what's next, morning of Monday!!!
  • The system is flawed

    The iPhone 5 sales process in Hong Kong is seriously flawed. We are 4 weeks since the launch.

    I doubt anyone is getting joy from the online application process. I have applied every day for 4 weeks from launch, nothing. I a have a valid HK ID, a @me email address and nothing.

    The grey phones are everywhere and like of official supply as is demonstrated by my experience results in 2 things:
    1. Pent up demand and increased opportunity to the grey market sellers to make super profits. Grey phones are everywhere, official phones are no where. Grey sellers are loving it. They love Apple's strategy. More money for them.
    2. Apple is irritating loyal customers. I now own a Galaxy Note 2 LTE, A Galaxy Note 10.1 and I just bought my wife a Galaxy SIII LTE. All easily available at launch date. Guess what, I am loving them. Had I had access to the Apple devices on launch I would not have taken the leap and Apple would not need to resort to costly court battles to try and stop Samsung from beating them.

    Apple continue along this path = big trouble. My next step, sell my Apple shares and by more Samsung.
  • Iphone Lottery a joke

    Agree with comments of TruBlue - Ive been trying for a month, everyday, no luck, and I'm an end user - I only want 1 unit. Ive tried registering as soon as the site opens, no luck, then registering under several different emails. It defies belief that Apple launches a product, then trickle feeds customers - and why allow the purchase of 2 units? If supplies are tight, seems to me to make a lot more sense to limit sales to one unit per customer, and double the amount of customers. This would also reduce onselling in the grey market - I can only think that apple are trying to promote a grey market. I'm also thinking of a switch to Android over this issue.