Flipping out over iPhone X - HK resellers aim to make a killing on anniversary model

Top News | Sum Lok-kei 14 Sep 2017

Early-bird "flippers" - phone touts who buy and sell new models in the first day or two of availability - could make up to HK$15,000 in profit from the much- anticipated iPhone X, retailers say.

This is despite the iPhone 10th anniversary model being released in the mainland on the same day as in the SAR, November 3, as red-hot demand is expected.

Orders for the iPhone X - or iPhone 10 when referred to in speech - will start to be taken at 3.01pm on October 27.

Details of three new iPhone models were revealed at a keynote presentation at the Steve Jobs Theater on Apple's new Cutertino, California, campus.

Among them, the iPhone X - the most expensive model to date - is the most anticipated pocket-sized device this year.

In celebration of the 10th year anniversary of the first iPhone, the 256-gigabyte iPhone X will cost a massive HK$9,888.

There is one other option - a 64GB capacity model costing HK$8,588. The priciest iPhone previously was HK$8,288.

While the mainland will also be among the first places to get the new iPhone, the official yuan price for the iPhone X will work out HK$1,400 to HK$1,700 more expensive than in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong, always one of the first places for iPhone releases, has been a hot spot for buying and reselling in quick time.

But flippers were disappointed when the iPhone 6S came out in 2015 as a lack of new features minimized resale profits.

Smartphone store owner Lo Lau said people will chase the iPhone X but not necessarily for its features.

"The 10th anniversary of the first iPhone is a grand event," he said. "The smartphone will be flipped for this."

Lo also said the 256GB iPhone X could be flipped for at least HK$3,000 to HK$5,000 of profit as people will see it as a limited and high-end product.

When the "piano-black" iPhone 7 Plus came out last year, Lo noted, fans were willing to pay up to HK$30,000 for one.

And flipping activities could last longer for the iPhone X, he said.

But another retailer, Alex Yeung Hung-kei, said flipping activities may last just a month as the iPhone X is not labeled a limited-edition model.

He is, however, expecting to see bumper profit margins - HK$10,000 to HK$15,000 per phone - on the first day it is available.

Although the phone will be released in the mainland on the same day as Hong Kong, Yeung added, there will simply not be enough of them to meet demand. So mainlanders will seek phones in Hong Kong.

Two other models, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, will be in Hong Kong next Friday.

The iPhone 8 will be priced at HK$7,288 for a 256GB model and HK$5,988 for a 64. The larger iPhone 8 Plus will be retailing at HK$8,188 and HK$6,888.

Orders start being taken for these models tomorrow, but many phone fans will just await the iPhone X.

Also, flipping profits for most of these models will be minimal at best, Lo said.

But a gold-colored iPhone 8 Plus could be flipped for a profit of perhaps HK$3,000.

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