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iPhone 4S big hit in Hong Kong’s grey market

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HONG KONG — Apple’s iPhone 4S was on sale on Hong Kong’s grey market at the weekend, attracting hundreds of fans paying up to six times official prices to get their hands on the latest model.

The smartphone, released in seven countries on Friday, was not yet officially for sale in the southern Chinese city but dealers had imported them, mainly from Australia and Japan, for resale to local customers.

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The phones are retailing for between HK$10,000 and HK$12,000 ($1,300-$1,500) on the grey market. Depending on their memory capacity they are priced between $199 and $399 in the United States with a two-year contract.

“I have sold about 100 iPhone 4S since yesterday,” dealer Ma Hui of Chu Lok Telecom in the bustling shopping district of Mongkok said Sunday.

“Several customers bought 10 of them to resell to others,” he told AFP, as he brought the new phones into his shop before opening for business.

But Ma said the demand for the 4S was less than the frenzy that accompanied the launch of the iPhone 4.

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The latest Apple product will be released for sale in another 22 countries on October 28 but dealers in Hong Kong, which has many enthusiastic Apple followers, only expect it to be launched there towards the end of the year.

The Chinese-language Apple Daily News reported Sunday that one mainland Chinese customer had spent HK$861,000 for 82 new phones.

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