Apple has as yet to launch its new iPhone 4S in China, but the device is already selling by scalpers outside the Beijing Apple store at whopping prices of up to about US$1,100, and Apple is trying to tell customers: DO NOT BUY the iPhone 4S from these scalpers.
Apple launched its iPhone 4S last Friday in Hong Kong, and it resulted in a chaotic scene with scalpers and pro queuers purchasing and reselling the phone outside the Hong Kong Apple store. Today, we see scalpers selling iPhone 4S outside the Beijing Apple store. These scalpers were the folks who flew to Hong Kong to buy the phones on the launch day and then fly back to Beijing with the phones in hand to sell them. And guess what, customers were stopped by the scalpers when they walked out of the Apple store.
“Do you want an iPhone 4S? It’s an unlocked version from Hong Kong!” said a group of scalpers holding boxes of iPhone 4S in their hands.
When a customer walked out of the Beijing Sanlitun Apple store, scalpers will approach the customer immediately and ask if he/she wants an iPhone 4S. The scalpers were marking up the iPhones from 4150 Yuan ($653) to 5,500 yuan ($921), a profit of $268. One of the scalpers, Liu, said,
“The iPhone 4S I’m selling to these customers is imported from Shenzhen to Beijing, and it’s Hong Kong unlocked version. The price I’ve set is actually low, the Australian version I used to sell costs 6500 yuan ($1,023),”
What’s more, Liu has a sufficient quantity of iPhone 4S — up to hundreds of handsets were seen inside his backpack.
Looking at the scalpers from the Apple store, Apple employees were scratching their heads, as they’ve no idea how to put this to a stop. All they can do is put a poster outside the store, warning scalpers not to sell stuff in the area around the store, and not to disturb customers. If any scalpers was found violating the rules, he/she will be handed to the regional governors. And customers are reminded not to believe in the scalpers.
Meanwhile, Chinese Apple fanboys are pissed of the delay of the launch of the iPhone 4S in China. They were wondering what took Apple so long to debut the iPhone 4S in China. An Apple spokesperson representing Apple China told the local media that the iPhone 4S needs to go through different kinds of inspections before the device could go official in the country. The device first need to get approved by China’s equivalent of the FCC first, then the frantic negotiations with Chinese carriers need to be solved, and lastly, the censorship problem in China could affect the usage of Siri in the country. As we all know, Siri communicates with Apple’s server, and this could cause lots of problems for the Chinese government.
If a Chinese iPhone 4S user asks Siri about the bloody 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, Siri may/may not answer the user, but if Siri really brings answers to that question, Chinese government will be pissed, and they will ban Siri right away.
So, what do you think? Will Siri face problems on the censorship problem in China?
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