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? Price.com.hk (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.