Getting an iPhone 4S in Hong Kong


After the utter debacle at the Apple store yesterday (check M.I.C. Gadget blog for reports and photos) things have calmed down, sort of.

The Apple store at IFC has announced that it will be selling the iPhone 4S by appointment only.

Typical of the SCMP’s lazy reporting, they write “The store has now introduced an iReserve system, under which customers can seek an online appointment and – if successful – pick up their phones the next day” without bothering to mention how one might make such an appointment.

I don’t know how you make an appointment with them though I note that the web site has a blurb for an iPhone Apple Store app and one of its features is that it lets you make appointments.  Which is fine if you have an older iPhone but doesn’t help those who may be looking to buy their first one.  The 16 gig model is HK$5,088, the 32 gig model is HK$5,888 and the 64 gig model is HK$6,688.  Even Apple bows down before Hong Kong’s practice of prices ending in lucky 8’s.

Buying grey market? (a Chinese language-only web site) reports lowest price for 16 gig is HK$6,780, HK$7,180 for 32 gigs, HK$7,880 for 64 gigs.  I suspect there are still plenty of people out there willing to pay a premium to avoid lines, hassles and contracts despite receiving only a vague (at best) warranty.

The mobile carriers claim to have plenty of stock.  Buying through a mobile carrier such as 3 or SmarTone means you can get the phone at a subsidized price but it also means you have to sign a 2 year contract.

Apple is only selling the 8 gig version of the iPhone 4 right now – that’s HK$4,288 and shown as currently unavailable on the Apple site. The 8 gig 3GS is selling for HK$2,888 and that one ships in “1-3 business days.”

In the U.S., the Apple store shows orders for iPhone 4S ship in 1-2 weeks.

I think the supply chain situation will continue to be messy for awhile.



11 thoughts on “Getting an iPhone 4S in Hong Kong

  1. Paul

    Apple ran at a reservation system here in the UK when the iPad 2 was released. It was pretty easy and kept things civil.

    The stock was released at 9pm every night. To reserve you would log on to the Apple retail store’s website. In HK’s case

    There will be a link to reserve the device (it’s there now if you click on the iPhone picture). Click the Reserve and you will get a list of the models available. Select the model you want and the time you ould like to collect it, enter your Apple ID and you’re done. You get n email a few minutes later confirming the reservation. When you go in, they will register you like they would if you had a Genius appointment.

    I liked the reservation system as it kept things stress free and civil. The system was prone to crash once in a while and you had to be ready to go bang on 9pm (the stok would be gone by 9:05) but overall it was a good experience.

    1. Spike Post author

      Thanks Paul, nice to know that the system works. But I also just noted that all of the iPhone 4S’s are listed as unavailable; I guess one needs to check back every day.

  2. mumphLT

    Couldn’t simply; 1 person, 1 phone have worked – hardly worth queuing up or paying someone to queue up for the profit on one phone is it?
    Funny how queuing up in 25 people pens in a public space is OK but protesting isn’t.

  3. mumphLT

    And I saw links on FB – I think to Apple Daily but aren’t sure showing the mess & filth left over from the pig pens; are Apple paying to clean it up?

  4. Phillip

    Hey Spike,

    Are you using iTunes Match service yet?

    All of my +8000 songs/music videos are up in iCloud now. Quite cool.

    1. Spike Post author

      I thought that the Match service wasn’t working yet. I haven’t done anything with iCloud yet – I’m not sure how I want to use it. I’ve got 5,000 songs on my iPhone right now but 65,000 sitting in iTunes.

  5. Phillip

    Match is available for US iTunes accounts only. I’ve got a UK account and songs purchased via iTunes UK aren’t uploaded, but all others I’ve got on my hard drive (imported via CD etc) have been uploaded.

    65,000 songs??? Holy Moly! What’s your most played song out of 65,000? :)

    1. Spike Post author

      Yeah, after writing my comment, I see iMatch is available now and I’m downloading the latest iTunes.

      The play count is giving me an odd result, showing that the most played song is Citizen by Broken Bells and that seems way off, I don’t recall playing that album anywhere near that much though I do like it. It also shows I’ve only played 7,500 of the songs and I know that’s really way off.

  6. Roger

    Grrrr -I’m off to the UK at the start of Dec and want to get an iphone as a christmas present from HK. I’ve seen the ref of ordering at 9pm before and tried logging on last night at 8:55pm and tried repeatedly ….no joy! Has anyone managed to actually order an iPhone yet and if so what time at – I’m starting to think there not actually available.

  7. Pingback: Where are the Hong Kong iPhones? China, where else! | Iphone 5 Leak

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