iPhone gold rush hits auction sites

Consumers are bidding thousands of dollars on eBay for hard-to-find gold iPhones. On the same day Apple announced it had sold more than 9 million iPhone5S and iPhone 5C handsets, essentially selling all of its initial inventory, bidding for hard-to-find handsets went from active to wild on eBay, with a handset gold iPhone 5S finally selling for the unbelievable sum of $10,100.

Disappointed consumers have started turning to auction sites to get their hands on what is quickly turning out to be this year’s must-have smartphone and it seems they’re being driven in part by industry whispers according to which the gold version of the 5S handset (the flagship phone also comes in silver and a color Apple calls “space gray”) will only be made in very limited quantities – Business Insider claims that some countries and carriers network received no gold handsets to sell and that even in its largest existing market – i.e. the United States – Apple stores in some cities only had 20 copies in total for sale.

Apple said it’s ramping up production of the Gold 5s to keep up with demand, and a quick look at the company’s website shows online orders will be fulfilled in about a month. Nonetheless, a vibrant trade in handsets is taking place on eBay where devices sell for an average of $2,000, four times the retail price. A bundle of three phones is currently at $4,500 with two days remaining until the auction closes. The gold iPhone may be rare right now, but there will soon be more devices available than there are consumers willing to buy them.

Apple has already sold 9 million handsets in just over three days, 1 million less than Samsung sold its last flagship, the Galaxy S IV, but it took 28 days less to do so. Samsung took a month to reach that number and at no time were its loyal band of consumers forced to turn to online auction houses to fill the technology void in their lives.

AFP