The average iPhone X is being scalped for US$1500
The cliché "there's a sucker born every minute" (famously but unverifiably associated with circus showman P.T. Barnum) seems to be becoming ever-increasingly true regarding consumers of technology. We reported at the start of this month on KGI's assertion that Apple's production of the iPhone X would be insufficient for demand until well into Q1 2018, and it looks like this has resulted in the predicted price-gouging. eBay reported a fairly robust 50-100% profit for scalpers selling the just-released iPhone X, which has an MSRP between US$999 - 1,149, depending on the configuration.
Though one cheekily optimistic scalper attempted (and failed) to sell an iPhone X for US$59,999, the average selling price for iPhone X devices on eBay is US$1500 — roughly 50% higher than MSRP. With the current shipping estimates going into December, consumers who don't want to wait for their toys seem to 50% is an acceptable premium to pay for the device. Still, there is merit to the viewpoint that the delay and subsequent gouging could actually be worse: the Verge notes that the jet-black iPhone 7 hit a two-month wait last year.
Why is the iPhone X caught in a supply-demand crunch? It's likely a combination of several factors: Firstly, there is pent-up demand for a new iPhone design (which was certainly not sated by the iterative update the iPhone 8 provided). Secondly, new elements used in the iPhone X such as its OLED display and FaceID components create difficulties in manufacturing in comparison to the well-oiled production machine that the other iPhone models benefit from.
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