Steve Jobs did not announce an official release date for the iPad 2 in Hong Kong, but residents can buy them at retail – for a premium, just two days after the iPad 2 launches in the U.S. You will be shocked, a 16GB Wi-Fi model costs about $7,900 Hong Kong Dollars (around $1014) in the gray market, that’s about twice the U.S. price!!!
It is perfectly normal to see this in Hong Kong. Last year, the iPhone 4 and iPad were sold to local Apple fanboys at crazy prices in the gray market, since fanboys wanted to get the latest Apple gadget at the soonest. Just like always, vendors in the bustling gadget market in Hong Kong’s Sin Tat Plaza (先達廣場), known colloquially as the ‘Mobile Phone Mall’, are promising to bring the latest Apple product, iPad 2, to early adopters. Since the iPad 2 will be available for sale in the U.S first, the retailers will only have to import the iPads from America.
Amazingly, a retailer, Mr. Lo, who is the ‘master’ of the gray market in Hong Kong, who distributed hundreds to thousands of iPhone 4s and iPads to China’s gray market last year, has already received 200 orders before the launch, and he has prepared eight couriers in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles to hop on planes to Hong Kong after securing about 200 iPads and he will get the device to eager consumers by March 13, that’s today. And he did it.
An employee opening up a luggage, which contains up to 40 boxes of iPad 2s.
What’s the selling price? Well, it’s insane. See below for the price tags.
iPad 2 with Wi-Fi (Black)
16GB: HKD$7,980 (about $1025)
32GB: HKD$8,980 (about $1153)
64GB: HKD$9,980 (about $1280)
iPad 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G (Black)
16GB: HKD$9,680 (about $1243)
32GB: HKD$10,680 (about $1371)
64GB: HKD$11,880 (about $1525)
If you want a white version, you need to add HKD$1500-2000 (about $192-256) for every models. We are more shocked when we see the prices for the smart cover and HDMI adapter. Prices below.
iPad Smart Cover – Polyurethane – Any colors: HKD$780 (about $100)
iPad Smart Cover – Leather – Any colors: HKD$1,280 (about $164)
HDMI Adapter: HKD$580 (about $74)
It is really difficult to understand why the Hong Kongers want to secure an early iPad 2 for hefty premiums. Mr. Lo, the famous guy who first sold hundreds of iPhone 4 and iPad in the gray market, said customers have put down HKD$1,000 (about $128) deposit for each iPad 2 before the launch, and if there are some customers who could not accept the price they are offering now, the deposit will be refunded and the device will be reserved for late-comers. He has three special customers, one paid HKD$130,000 (about $16,684) for 10 iPads, other two are from the mainland China, one purchased 20 iPads and another ordered 50 iPads. When he was asked why customers are willing to spend so much money for an iPad 2, he said:
“Apple fanboys are willing to pay our prices to have the iPad 2 earlier. That’s how we earn money.”
However, Mr. Lo has only managed to prepare 60 units of iPad 2 today, and most of them are Wi-Fi + 3G 64GB models, while there are only two ten white iPads. Since there is over a hundred orders to handle, Mr Lo is calling his couriers to try their best to get more stocks from U.S. This may be difficult since Apple’s online store is showing delays of up two to three weeks for the slate and everywhere is sold out.
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