Over in Russia “yuppies” – as Bloomberg puts it – are eager to get their hands on the iPhone 5 way before any of the general public, and the gray market dealers are set to take advantage. The businesses that run the gray market will send people to countries abroad where the iPhone 5 is launching next week, and bring them back to Russia as personal belongings. This way, they avoid paying import taxes and sell them for a handsome profit.
Once in the country these handsets will be sold for $3,700 (115,000 rubles) a piece. And said “yuppies” will happily pay, just to be the first to have them.
The Web stores are offering delivery soon after the phone goes on sale in the U.S. and eight other countries on Sept. 21. Official sales in Russia will probably start mid-December and the price is likely the same as for the iPhone 4S, which was as much as 39,990 rubles for the 64-gigabyte model, said Eldar Murtazin, an analyst at Moscow-based Mobile Research Group.
I don’t know about you, but, I’d rather wait a few months than pay 3 times as much just to get it on time. But, it just goes to show how sought-after Apple products are. Especially the iPhone. It’ll be interesting also – while we’re on the topic of international launches – to see how the launch goes down in Hong Kong and China. They infamously attract similar attention from those from the gray market, looking to take advantage.