Daniel Stacey and Ross Kelly observed that long lines and a new trend of the gray market for bigger screen phones marked Apple’s new iPhones debut. As expected, new phone models drew Apple fans outside retail stores (Stacey and Kelly). Global critics, however, noted that this year’s lines were generally longer relative to previous periods mainly because of the developing gray market for Apple products.
The new Apple’s iPhones have larger screens than the previous models. Also, they boast of improved battery life, faster processors, and an enhanced camera. Tim Cook called them “mother of all upgrades” (Stacey and Kelly).
Today’s Apple customers buy more than one phone for various reasons. Several of the Apple fans bought many phones to send them to other places. For instance, shoppers pay others to buy for them more than one phone as was the case in the Paris Apple store. One Apple customer claimed that he had anticipated buying about 30 iPhones and sending them to Moscow for resale. In Moscow, he would resell the iPhones for as much as twice the original cost (Stacey and Kelly).
The gray market for iPhones was also noted in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s gray market was most likely to grow because the new iPhones were not instantly available in China. In the past launches, Apple has introduced its products in China simultaneously with other markets around the world. This year, however, the Chinese government has not yet licensed the new products for sale (Stacey and Kelly). Interference of the Chinese government has led the price of the “gold iPhone 6 Plus with large storage capacities to reach to over $1,000 in retail stores at Mongkok” (Stacey and Kelly). Asia phone customers prefer large screens for display because they use the phone to play games and watch movies. Shoppers waited in lines for the new iPhones so that they could resell to others in China. Chinese can only travel to Hong Kong to get new iPhones.
Apple noted that it had got over “four million preorders for the new phones within the first day since it started accepting preorders in September” (Stacey and Kelly). This number was significantly more than what the company had allocated for preorders.
People privy to the details of the production details of the new iPhones claimed that Apple’s major manufacturing supplier in China had to employ over “200,000 workers in nearly 100 production lines specifically for the new iPhones” (Stacey and Kelly). Some analysts observed that Apple aimed to draw and keep a large customer base among high-end customers who prefer smartphones with large screens (Stacey and Kelly). Recent research shows that almost all the latest smartphones with “Google’s Android operating system and a larger display of over five inches” (Stacey and Kelly).
While the demand for Apple’s new iPhone has risen, the price for Apple’s most expensive gadget has also risen. The significant longer lines and preorders have shown that Apple’s iPhones continue to dominate the luxury phone markets. That is, the hype about Apple’s new products has grown as the middle class continues to surge in emerging economies. These markets have created large grey markets for Apple’s new iPhones with large display screens. Overall, Stacey and Kelly note that Apple has continued to create a large fanatic customer base that does not mind the premium prices of the products.
Stacey, Daniel and Ross Kelly. “Apple’s New iPhones Start Selling in Stores.” The Wall Street Journal. 2014. Web.