Chinese Retailers Are Already Selling The iPhone 5, But It’ll Cost You $8,600

Chinese Retailers Are Already Selling The iPhone 5, But It’ll Cost You $8,600

I wouldn’t pay $8,600 for an iPhone if it was delivered by Tim Cook himself.

We’re still a few months away from Apple’s new iPhone unveiling, but that hasn’t stopped a number of Chinese retailers from selling the device in advance. They’re using the mockup pictures that have been circulating for weeks to make a quick buck from the hotly-anticipated handset, with some asking for as much as $8,600 a piece.

Reuters spotted the appearance of the device on Chinese e-commerce platform Taobao, which is part of the Alibaba Group. While some sellers are asking for deposits of around ¥1,000 ($160) to secure the device, one, “Dahai99888,” is asking for the full payment of ¥6,999 ($1,000) upfront. That’s around double the price we’re expecting to see from Apple for the new iPhone unlocked.

But it’s still relatively cheap when you compare it to others’ prices. “Zhuji” is asking for $8,600 for “the next generation of iphone5’ (hat-tip to 9to5Mac for hunting direct link down).

According to some of the Taobao sellers that Reuters has spoken to, they are planning to purchase the device in Hong Kong or the United States after its release, and then bring it to mainland China.

“Demand is high. Yesterday someone just bought two phones. Altogether we have about two dozen orders,” said one seller on Taobao who went by the nickname Xiaoyu.

Apple products are traditionally difficult to get hold of in mainland China — despite being built there — and so scalpers are able to make huge profits on them by selling them on the gray market. Apple has tried to put a stop to this by forcing customers to reserve devices online before collecting them front store, and then requiring a photo ID before the devices are released.

But gangs continue to smuggle the devices in from other countries.

“It’s not so easy to bring the phones from overseas, there’s a limit to how many you can carry in…If we could bring in a few thousand that will be great!,” said Xiaoyu.

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  • shade/ohio

    thats crazy even if it was the legit iphone.

  • Deb

    $8600 for a lot of 30 phones, no?

  • LeRajahdeChine

    Perhaps a fact check on this article is in order. If you are using Google Chrome’s page translator it changes the ? (Yuan/RMB) sign to a $ sign. Taobao, the site that the phones are being sold from (similar to Amazon), does not conduct transactions in anything other than Chinese RMB.

    Also @

    $8600 for a lot of 30 phones, no?

    The 30 means days and is used to indicate how many transactions the seller has made on this particular piece of merchandise; in this case they have made no transactions in the last 30 days.

  • joewaylo

    thats crazy even if it was the legit iphone.

    I doubt it’s legit. Given another model I looked at from KitGuru has a clay band.

  • Jonathan Chambers

    The price on Taobao is 8599?, not dollars. This article is poorly researched.

  • smashingeeks

    I have gathered up the upcoming iPhone 5 Concept Designs here http://www.designskew.com/blog/the-new-iphone-5-concept-designs-and-looks/

  • ESLteacher

    That is in ¥…not $. Secondly, that price seems about right since the iPhone 4S cost 5000¥ when it first came out in China.

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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