The image that has gone viral across social media, showing the owner of the RM7800 iPhone 6 Plus
Wow. Just when you think the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus cannot get any more expensive than current scalper prices, a popular local smartphone reseller may have just set a record for the most expensive price for an iPhone 6 Plus in the country.
DirectD, an immensely popular third-party smartphone retailer based in Subang Jaya, began selling the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus on 20 September, a day after they were officially available around the world. Unlike the individual resellers, DirectD appears to have an amazingly large stock at hand over the weekend, which is perhaps a testament of its network.
The surprising part? Its entire stock was sold out over the weekend, despite claims that the retailer was selling the new iPhones at spectacularly inflated prices. One tweet, embedded below, claims that DirectD was selling the 64GB iPhone 6 Plus at RM7800. Based on where you get the device, that same model is selling officially anywhere between RM2700 (Japan) to RM3810 (France). With that margin, one can actually get a return ticket to Tokyo on Malaysia Airlines (total including tax: RM2913) this weekend, book a nice place on Airbnb for about RM100 per night, and actually buy the iPhone 6 Plus there (provided there is stock, of course). There is even change to spare for some shopping in Harajuku.
More realistically, it is more than likely you can get two units (and some spare change) of that same model when it eventually comes to Malaysia by the end of the year.
It is rather disappointing to see such inflated prices, especially from a retailer such as DirectD, which is known for offering very good deals on devices that may not be available officially in Malaysia. For instance, this same retailer sells the Xiaomi Mi Pad for RM788, the OnePlus One for RM1059 and the LG Nexus 5 for RM1025.
While all iPhone 6 models are currently sold out, DirectD has stated that a new batch of stocks will arrive today (September 22) with a “new revised price“, which will likely be lower than last weekend’s prices – a strategy that is usual for DirectD. However, given that the iPhone 6 models are now exceptionally difficult to come by anywhere in the world, don’t be surprised if the prices are slightly higher.
Then again, this phenomenon is not limited to Malaysia alone. The image below is supposedly taken at a third-party reseller store in Hong Kong, and they are even crazier than what Malaysian scalpers are selling these devices for. If you think RM7800 is high for a 64GB iPhone 6 Plus, in Hong Kong this same model is going for HKD 24,000 – that’s RM9,995.73 by today’s conversion rates.
It appears Apple’s latest smartphone has created an exceptionally active – but brief – secondary market catered to siphon the latest iPhones out of the first-batch countries such as the US, Singapore and Japan into other countries where there is great demand. In the US, an independent film maker uncovered what appears to be a dark syndicate that uses the homeless to stand in line for up to two days to buy the iPhone, only to sell it to unidentified people standing across the road, amassing large numbers of the phones…for whatever purpose.
Before we end, here’s another way you can actually get an overpriced iPhone that’s actually worth its price. Goldgenie, the makers of luxury customised smartphones, is offering Phone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models plated in 24-carat gold, rose gold or even platinum. For 2837 pounds (about RM15000), you can purchase the 64GB iPhone 6 Plus covered entirely around the back and sides in 24 carat gold. Not just gold colour, but real gold.
At least gold will not have a refreshed edition next year to depreciate its value.