Despite efforts by Apple and AT&T, scalpers are still getting their mitts on the new iPhone…
I saw this over at BetaNews, one of my favorite sites; and I just had to comment… The iPhone 3G is nearly sold out. If you don’t have one by now, it could be weeks, or months, before new Direct Fulfillment orders are fulfilled. In the mean time, desperate customers are turning to a tried and true alternative source – eBay.
While both Apple and AT&T have gone to great lengths to curtail wholesalers or scalpers from getting their hands on the new iPhone 3G, with device stock levels all but depleted around the country, some of the devices have found their way to the online marketplace. In some cases, auction price tags have crested the $1000 mark.
Most sellers are trying to clear a quick profit by selling their own iPhone 3G, hoping to capitalize on the shortage and high demand. However, some sellers have obtained the devices in quantity (between 12 to 50 devices, for example); and it’s unclear how any seller go their hands on so many. While this was possible, and more probable with the original iPhone, AT&T is now requiring iPhone customers to register their purchase against an active or new cell account. Confusing, ain’t it?
While this does provide a source of the devices for those early adopters that can’t find one, you have to realize that going through eBay is likely going to require you to pay between 3-5 times MORE for the device than you would from Apple or AT&T. Those stores are selling the devices at $199 for an 8GB device and $299 for a $16GB device.