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.”