Hong Kong scalpers buy up iPhone 4S and resell them for big profit outside Apple Store (with video)

“Over three thousand people gathered outside the Hong Kong Apple store for the launch of the iPhone 4S in Hong Kong, but Apple only allow 1,250 people to line up. A scuffle nearly broke out, and police were called to keep everything under control,” Chris Chang reports for M.I.C. Gadget.

“The launch of the iPhone 4S resulted in a chaotic scene with scalpers and pro queuers purchasing and reselling the phone outside the Apple store,” Chang reports. “A gang of professional queuers from South Asia gathered all the iPhones they have purchased from the Apple store.”

“Resellers were seen sorting and packing boxes of iPhone 4S in a corner outside the Apple store,” Chang reports.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of pure capitalism, but legitimate Apple customers get screwed when it’s taken to such extremes. Apple should definitely stick to per customer limits on launch days, but there’s not much that Apple can do when the scalpers bring in tens, or even hundreds, of bodies who buy up the maximum number of units.

The mall should at least prevent scalpers from setting up shop in the hallway. Sheesh. Also, Apple should do everything in their power to not let scalpers back in the store to buy another max. number of units. Apple should use “Faces” to weed out the re-queuers: Just before you buy your iPhone(s), you get your picture taken as a condition of the sale. If you’re unique, you get your iPhone(s). If not, hit the road, scalper!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. Scalpers are just supplying a service for those who value their time. I don’t want to wait in line, and I’m willing to pay to not have to do it. Its the exact same as asking a friend to wait in line for me, he would obviously ask me to compensate him for his time with some extra cash. The scalpers have just organized this service. Everyone wins, if you don’t want to pay extra for the iPhone, or wait in line before them to get one, your time is obviously not worth it. Easy.

    1. Really? I thoughs scalpers screwed people over by denying them from buying a product at its regular price, then attempting to extort 5x the cost of it by putting unfortunate customers over a barrel.

  2. A less invasive method would be to require credit cards to buy one. Apple already did that in the US, and there was the minor brouhaha over their legal ability to refuse to accept cash.

    Face recognition for control purposes? Seriously MDN, you want Apple to go down that road?

  3. Apple should cash in on it and have legit street sellers who are Apple employees. With the ability to have point of sale terminals that are iPod Touch based or iPhone based, the logistics wouldn’t be such a problem.

  4. For those who are patient, the lines will die down and you will be able to purchase an iPhone 4S at retail price. You lived without an iPhone 4S until now, and you can do it for a few more weeks or even a couple of months. Sooner or later Apple will produce enough of them to keep the inventory chain filled.

    There would not be scalpers if there were not people willing and able to pay a premium for the service. Vote with your dollar by not supporting scalpers and the practice will dwindle.

  5. I agree I don’t want to wait in line and will pay a great premium to just have my iPhone without hassle … I see nothing wrong with Capitolism in a communist country (: it’s win win for all

  6. Typical Chinese behavior: Screw thy neighbor.

    Hey USA! We can expect the same treatment. Think about it the next time you buy crap ‘Made In China’.

    And yes Apple, this means I am again complaining: GET THE HELL OUT OF CHINA!

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