Speakers’ Corner: How iPhone 4 will shape grey market


Much has been written about the first Apple iPhone since its launch in 2007, its features and its overwhelming success in the market.

But, one little known fact is the original iPhone and its decendants have created a huge grey market, where iPhones are bought and sold in bulk internationally outside of official distribution channels.

Like any other commodity trade, the parallel iPhone market hinges on factors such as exchange rates, supply-and-demand fluctuations, future announcements and of course, Apple’s own policy.

One amazing feature of this market remains the difficulty in obtaining iPhones in sufficient quantities leading to the “trade” price often exceeding the retail price in Apple stores – not taking into account the network operator’s subsidy.

Companies regularly buy Apple iPhones from countries like the US and export them into other countries not yet served by the Cupertino giant, where the average punter craves the Apple gadget.

As a global wholesale trading platform for mobile phones, gsmExchange is in a unique position to record the progress of all previous iPhone models and project the growth of future models in the grey market.

For the iPhone 4, from a trade perspective, the wholesale community can expect a peak in price straight after launch, with demand outstripping supply.

Full article in Mobile News issue 466 (June 21, 2010).

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GsmExchange is a global wholesale trading platform for mobile phone, and claims to be in a position to record sales progress of handsets including Apple iPhone models.