Many rumors have been out for a while and the web is full of speculation about the new iPhone. The whole world is waiting for the next Apple Keynote event anticipating the launch of the new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus in September 2015. Hong Kong is no exception and in fact, Hong Kong people do not only love Apple products, but also are obsessed with this smartphone (and in fact not only with the iPhone, but also with the iPad, iPad Air or iWatch). It is not only a cult, but also a status symbol. Hence, it is no wonder that you will see people lining up at Apple stores.
Although, Hong Kong has three official Apple stores (check out our related article on where to buy Apple products in Hong Kong), it is not easy to get your hands on one of the newly launched iPhones since you cannot simply walk in and purchase one. We in Hong Kong start to joke around that you probably will win Mark-6 (the local lottery) or hit by a lightning strike before you are able to purchase one of the new iPhones.
How To Get iPhone in Hong Kong In The Past ?
In the past years, Apple decided to launch their new products first in Hong Kong and with a delayed time frame of several months in Mainland China. Due to the high demand in Mainland China as well as in Hong Kong, scalpers took advantage buying as many Apple products as they could and reselling iPhone, iPad & Co. with a high mark-up price.
Starting from the launch of iPhone 4s, Apple implemented a lottery-like system to prevent and fighting scalpers to purchase the complete stock and resell it back to China. Back in the days, you needed an official HK-ID to register online in a strict three hour time window. With the launch of iPhone 5 and 5s, Apple changed a little bit their procedure where you needed to select one of their stores for pickup location, the color, size & quantity of the iPhone. You needed to keep your fingers crossed and had to keep the good faith to be one of the lucky customers selected randomly to pick up the product at the next day.
With the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6+, Apple changed their registration procedure for the iPhone lottery again. Each day Apple released a secret number of rationed iPhone 6 & 6s for sale at 8:00am. Straight at 8 o’clock you were able to log-in with your Apple ID at the reservation page. Aside from the previous procedure you needed to have a local phone to receive a special code that you had to input taking you to the next stage of the registration lottery process. Once the code had been accepted, you could choose the iPhone you wanted as well as from which of the three Apple store you would like to pick it up from. As you can imagine, whole Hong Kong (including me) set the alarm, waiting straight in front of the computer and refreshing Apple’s website from 7:55am onwards. Needless to say that the scalpers had been one step ahead of Apple using special computer programs to take advantage. There was no chance of scoring one. It went so far that people tracked how much time passed until the code was sent to your phone and switched to the fastest telecom provider. However, even after 3-4 months it was almost impossible to buy an iPhone 6 or 6s directly from Apple in Hong Kong.
For iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s, it was not available for the walk-in customers after almost 8 months after the official launch.
How to Get an iPhone 6S or 6S+ in Hong Kong?
Finally, Apple announced the official launch date of the iPhone 6S or 6S+ in Hong Kong, yet, there will be high chance that they will continue their online lottery registration strategy.
It will be available for pre-order from 12th of September 2015 and ready to sell in Hong Kong and China from 25th of September 2015.
The prices are :
iPhone 6s :
16GB – HKD 5588
64GB – HKD 6388
128GB – HKD 7188
iPhone 6s Plus :
16GB – HKD 6388
64GB – HKD 7188
128GB – HKD 8088
This time Apple might add some additional hurdles, come up with additional innovative ideas or policies to prevent scalpers. However, in the past scalpers always found a way to work around these barriers (if not by technological means than by creative ones including setting up referral programs or financial incentives).
Since Apple has changed the warranty regulation in the past that the iPhone will no longer have the international warranty, we hope that this year there would not be too many Mainland Chinese fighting for iPhones with Hong Kong locals.
Rumor’s out that the market price of 128GB iPhone 6s Plus (Rose Gold finish) will raise to probably HKD 20,000 and even 16GB iPhone 6 will get higher to HKD 12,000, which make it more difficult for locals to get hands on the latest iPhone soon.
So if you really would like to get the iPhone 6s as early as possible, get ready for the lucky try. We will update the information when there are more detailed information. Keep tuned !