April 28, 2011 at 11:28 AM ET
No one knows for sure when the iPhone 5 is coming, but after nearly a year of salivating, those who want the white iPhone 4 can buy it as of today. And it may even add another million to 1.5 million in iPhone sales for Apple for the quarter.
That's according to Ticonderoga analyst Brian White, who says that color alone is enough of a "cool factor" to make a difference in sales, despite the iPhone 4 itself being a little gray around the whiskers by smartphone standards, reports John Paczkowski on D: All Things Digital:
People buy Apple products for many different reasons, including status, aesthetics, functionality, quality and the 'cool factor,' " says White. “In our view, this delay has created a certain mystique and scarcity value around the 'white' iPhone 4 that we believe could drive incremental iPhone 4 purchases in the range of 1 million to 1.5 million units per quarter until the iPhone 5 potentially comes to market in September. At the same time, the ‘white’ iPhone 4 will draw consumers into Apple stores and create a buzz around the company in the near term."
That buzz is apparently working in terms of a mini-frenzy for the phone, at least in Hong Kong, for starters, reports M.I.C. Gadget:
The grey market dealers are ‘accepting’ a brand new, sealed, 16GB white iPhone, for HK$7,000 ($900), and HK$7,700 ($990) for 32GB. This price seems amazing for the scalpers, so they got off their work, had a late meal, and wait in line outside a specified carrier to sign a 2-year contract for the white iPhone. Since it’s midnight here, only some carriers are opened late for the launch. Amazing huh?
The white iPhone is priced by Apple exactly the same as its black sibling in the U.S. — $199 for the 16GB model and $299 for the 32GB model (with a new two-year agreement), so the Hong Kong scalpers are paying a pretty premium.
But head on over to eBay, and, not surprisingly, you'll find white iPhone 4s being offered for about two to three times the Apple asking price. Let the circus begin.