Playing The Apple Store Lottery Is The Only Way To Bag The iPhone 5 In Hong Kong

Playing The Apple Store Lottery Is The Only Way To Bag The iPhone 5 In Hong Kong

Customers queue for the iPhone 5 at IFC Mall in Hong Kong.

If you think the iPhone 5 is hard to get hold of where you live, spare a thought for those in Hong Kong, where the device is in such short supply, users must play the “Apple Store lottery” to be in with any chance of getting their hands on one. According to one analyst, locals have more chance of winning the real lottery than picking up the Cupertino company’s latest smartphone the day after they order.

The iPhone 5 launched in Hong Kong on September 21, a week after it made its debut in the United States and nine other markets, and it’s been a massive success. It would be an even bigger success, however, if customers could just get their hands on one.

“The stores are all sold out,” one local told AllThingsD. “Carriers like SmarTone are taking orders, but they’re not offering delivery until late October, early November. If you’ve just got to have one, your best bet is the Apple Store lottery, but that’s a total crapshoot.”

So what exactly is the Apple Store lottery? Topeka analyst Brian White explains:

At Apple’s retail store, the iPhone 5 can be ordered online and a lottery process determines who is eligible for pickup at the store the next day. Based on our conversations, you might have a better shot at winning [an actual] lottery than getting the iPhone 5 the next day.

White concludes that Hong Kong has “iPhone 5 fever.”

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  • mr_bee

    You might want to note the history of the lottery, why they have to do it that way, and how it’s not Apple’s fault but the fault of the people of Hong Kong itself that this is how it’s done.

  • BenjyWeeks

    You might want to note the history of the lottery, why they have to do it that way, and how it’s not Apple’s fault but the fault of the people of Hong Kong itself that this is how it’s done.

    Never have the actions of so few been used to misrepresent the actions of so many…

    Yes, some HK individuals were looking to profit. Some. What a stupid generalisation to say it’s the fault of the people of Hong Kong.

  • KennyTeohKY

    I was in the queue in Singapore on the first day of launch of the iPhone 5. While I can’t speak on behalf of those in Hong Kong, but I can say about 60% of those in queue at the location I was at were looking for a quick profit. And that’s sad. There was plenty of queue cutting by hooligans and professional queue-ers (if there is such word)The indonesian guy in front of me brought almost his whole family and came with a samsonite to carry all the loot they could get their hands on.

    And guess what? After my labor of waiting in line for hours. When it came to my turn? I was the first to be turned down by the Apple reseller store because they have run out of iPhones.

    I know there are a lot of people who comment about these queues may not have been standing in line before. But if you spend hours talking to some of those in the line, you would know what their motives are.

  • Shaun Green

    No matter how many faults it has the iPhone 5 juggernaut keeps rolling on. The fascination beats me but good luck to them.

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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