Travel agencies in mainland China have launched overseas tour packages in a bid to cash in on the iPhone 6 fervor, Apple Daily reported Friday.
With China excluded from the first round of sales of Apple’s new smartphones, some mainland buyers are expected to travel to places such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan to snap up the devices.
Sensing an opportunity, several travel agencies in Shanghai were quick to announce tour packages targeting such shoppers, the report said.
Speculators in the mainland are gearing up for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which have come with bigger screen sizes. The phones are expected to fetch a premium, with the cheapest iPhone 6 model likely to go for over 8,000 yuan (US$1,305) in the unofficial market.
Some scalpers have been eyeing the Hong Kong market as their source of supply. Mobile handset shops in Shanghai have begun taking advance orders for iPhone 6, with eager customers promised that they will have the phones in two to three days after official sale begins in Hong Kong.
In the past, mobile shops in Shanghai would add a 30 to 50 percent premium on new Apple phones. The most recent instance was during the iPhone 5S launch last year.
Most buyers are seeking to purchase the iPhone 6 as gifts for their customers or guests, Apple Daily cited some shopkeepers as saying.
Now travel agencies are jumping on the iPhone bandwagon, launching tour packages to Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan, asking for prices between HK$2,000 (US$258) and HK$4,000 per head.
Yet, the recommendation from some agencies is tour packages to the US and Canada, where it will be “much less crowded compared to places in Hong Kong like Mongkok” and where there will be fewer people competing for the newly-launched handsets.
Also, retail prices of iPhone 6 in the US and Canada will be even lower than those in Hong Kong, tour operators say.
In Shenzhen, scalpers were seen telling potential customers that it will cost around 10,000 yuan to become a proud owner of the new gadget. Most of the interested buyers there are said to be businessmen.
According to market watchers, the iPhone 6 prices could stabilize in about a month in the mainland, at around the 7,000 yuan level.
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