iPhone buyers hoping to make a quick buck by selling their devices at a profit on online market places have largely come out drawing the short end of the stick.
More than 24 hours after the iPhone went on sale, Apple's website reported that numerous stores still have the phone in stock. Most stores for AT&T, the phone's exclusive operator, have sold out on the 8GB models, but still have 4GB ones in stock.
Meanwhile, only 745 of 8,000 the iPhone offerings on Ebay have actually been sold. The sellers lucky enough to find a buyer fetched $962 on average, according to a report by the Associated Press.
The 4GB iPhone retails at US$499 for and the 8GB model goes for US$599.
More than 32 hours after the iPhone went on sale, most eBay auctions closed around the retail price, leaving the seller to pay for the sales tax and Ebay commission. A US$600 closing price carries about $25 in listing and closing fees. Sales taxes vary by county and vary from zero to 8.65 per cent.
Apple started selling the iPhone in the US at 6pm local time on Friday. The company hasn't disclosed how many units it has sold, or how many it has in stock. In the hours before the actual launch however, Apple employees assured buyers lining up outside the San Francisco Apple store: "We'll take care of you," Zach Lipton, a computer science student waiting in line told vnunet.com before the phone went on sale.
The lack of information about the iPhone's supply caused many hopefuls to queue up outside stores for Apple and AT&T, the device's exclusive operator. Others offered to hold a spot in line at a fee.
Listings for the iPhone started appearing as soon as the device went on sale on the East Coast. Asking prices on Craigslist avareged US$900 to US$1,100. Ebay prices also instantly shot up beyond the US$900 level.
Buyers at the Apple store were allowed to purchase two iPhones. Stores for AT &T were limited to a single gadget. Several people standing in line indicated that they intended to buy two iPhones and sell the second one in hopes of offsetting the purchase of their own device.
iPhone abundance frustrates eBay bonanza
By Tom Sanders on Jul 2, 2007 9:23AM