Apple lovers flock to grey mkt to buy iPhone 5 at over Rs.1 lakh

Written by Vaishnavi Bala | Mumbai | Updated: Sep 30 2012, 03:31am hrs
Gadget lovers will have to wait for over a month to get their hands on iPhone 5, the latest gizmo from the iconic technology firm, but that isnt stopping some to explore the grey market at exorbitant prices.

Apple lovers are willing to cough up as much as R1.2 lakh for a 64 GB iPhone 5 in the grey market, which is thrice the price it is expected to be sold in the open market. Says a storekeeper in South Mumbai who does not want to be named, We have got many calls, and people want to order despite knowing we do not give any kind of guarantee; the name just sells. He claims to have received about 150 orders so far.

Officially, the iPhone 5, launched on September 20 in the US and six other countries, is slated to arrive in India only around Diwali when it may cost upwards of R46,000, says an official at iStore, a premium reseller of Apple products in Mumbai. We may start taking orders from November 1 as soon as the company announces the launch date for India, he says.

This is also the first time that Apple will be retailing its phone in the open market. This means Apple would import and distribute the iPhone 5 on its own and make it widely available, unlike earlier when it was imported and distributed by telecom carriers. Some reports claim that Apple is hiring people for sales in low and mid levels to drive demand for its latest offering.

The grey market may be thriving, but many who place the order may not dwell deep into the products interface and utility as much as they care for the brand, experts say.

There are some application issues that come as riders with the new iPhone and people who look for utility and not just a brand value may not be so impressed with it, says Sandip Biswas from consulting firm Deloitte.