“I’ve been paying my bills with iPhones,” Vernon Silver reports for BusinessWeek. “Not with apps or on bank sites — I’ve been using the Apple hardware as currency.”
“It started by accident in December, during a business trip to New York. I live in Rome, where domestic work comes cheap and technology is expensive. An unlocked, gold, 32-gigabyte iPhone 5s that costs about $815 with tax in the U.S. goes for €839 (about $1,130) in Italy, roughly a month’s wages for workers who do laundry, pick up kids from school, or provide care for the elderly,” Silver reports. “When one worker heard I was visiting the States, she asked me to pick her up an iPhone in lieu of the equivalent cash for work she’d done. Lining up inside the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue, I was surrounded by shoppers speaking languages from around the world. The salesman looked stunned when I said I wanted an unlocked iPhone. Just one?”
“A new shipment of unlocked 5s phones had just come in, he said, adding that the gold model I asked for was the most popular in Europe and the easiest to resell. To my right, a man with a credit card from a Saudi bank was trying to buy his third and fourth phones of the day. ‘Make it two,’ I said,” Silver reports. “Exiting the store with my plastic Apple shopping bag secured by a rope drawstring, I no longer thought of the phones inside as appliances. They were more like gold bars.”
Read more in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “David E.” for the heads up.]