Apple may not be officially selling the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in China just yet, but that hasn’t stopped some people from smuggling the smartphones into the country and selling them at a huge markup. According to The Washington Post new iPhones are being sold on the street in China for two or three times what they’re actually worth.
The report claims that the 16GB iPhone 6 is going for $1,430 in China compared to $200 on-contract or $649 at full price. Meanwhile you can buy the iPhone 6 Plus from a Chinese smuggler for $2,400, while Apple is selling the 5.5-inch smartphone unlocked for just $749 unsubsidized. Even crazier, these smugglers are selling the new iPhones right in front of Apple Stores in China.
So where as these new smartphones coming from? The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus may be delayed in China over regulatory issues, but are already available to purchase in Hong Kong stores. Some models are also being brought in from the U.S., though apparently it only took a few hours to sneak the first iPhones into China.
One smuggler told The Washington Post that the street price for a new iPhone has already dropped. The first day the new phones launched he claims people were paying $3,100 for the iPhone 6 Plus and even more to have it delivered to their home.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen new iPhones smuggled into China, but it seems like the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have attracted smugglers on an unprecedented scale. Hopefully Apple can work out its issues with the Chinese government soon, though for now there’s clearly no shortage of new iPhones in the country if you’re willing to pay the price.