March 14, 2011 at 11:11 AM ET
Instead of waiting for official shipments that may take months, about 200 buyers in Hong Kong are willing to shell out double the iPad 2's going price.
Those must-have trendsetters — for whom price is apparently no obstacle — should have received iPad 2s by yesterday, March 13, thanks to couriers who hopped on planes originating from New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles with the much sought after devices. They were executing orders from Hong Kong "gray market" Apple distributor Kurt Lo, whose clients are willing to pay a minimum of $1025 for the 16-GB Wi-Fi only version. In the U.S., that same version is $499.
The most one of his customers will pay is $1524 for a 64-GB, Wi-Fi + 3G version.
While a gray market is usually "a market that legally circumvents authorized channels of distribution to sell goods at prices lower than those intended by the manufacturer," (according to Merriam-Webster), in this case, it means more for the consumer who's got to have their hot gadget before the official release in Hong Kong, which would be after March 25.
While U.S. customers were able to get their hands on the iPad 2 Friday, the next batch won't reach customers in 26 counties until March 25. Those countries include Canada, France, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and Japan (though that may be questionable now).
In Hong Kong, profiteers could make even more money from white iPad 2s, which carry a premium price tag in the gray market. For those who might have to wait months until the product makes its way to Hong Kong, it's apparently worth it, even if when it does make it there, it might be cheaper than the original U.S. price.
(via The Next Web Asia)
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