iPhone’s China Launch Pinches Gray Market
Apple Inc.’s decision to start selling its new phones in China on the same day as its other stores globally has had its first casualty: Hong Kong’s gray market for iPhones.
In China, the world’s largest mobile market by subscribers, the starting price for an unsubsidized iPhone 5S is 5,288 yuan ($864) while for an iPhone 5C it’s 4,488 yuan ($733). However, retail prices for the two new iPhones will be lower in Hong Kong due to lower taxes. An unsubsidized iPhone 5S in Hong Kong will start at HK$5,588 ($721) while an iPhone 5C will start at HK$4688 ($604).
Many forum responders also said they would rather wait than pay a premium for a gray-market iPhone 5S. There was also little interest in the iPhone 5C because of the plastic casing, some postings said.