“Smuggling iPhones has become a lucrative, if legally questionable, way for traveling students and flight attendants to earn a bit of extra cash. An iPhone costs $499 plus tax in the U.S. — call it $550. Unlock it, for $50 or less, and you can sell the same phone for the equivalent of $900 or so in Europe,” Robert Cyran and Dwight Cass report for The Wall Street Journal.
“Perhaps it’s no coincidence that iPhones, perennially sold out at Apple’s Manhattan stores, are in stock in Buffalo. Manhattan is full of tourists armed with strong euros, rubles and Brazilian reais. Few of them visit cities in upstate New York,” Cyran and Cass report.
“This explanation, while speculative, has big implications for Apple and AT&T. Of course, there could be others explanations. Apple, which declined to comment, could be clearing the decks for a new version of the iPhone. Or it could have simply misjudged demand or run into parts shortages. Listen to the Babel of languages in Apple’s New York City stores, though, and it’s easy to imagine the missing phones in suitcases flying overseas,” Cyran and Cass report.
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