Vietnamese pay $700 more for early iPhone 15

By Luu Quy   September 22, 2023 | 01:26 am PT
Vietnamese pay $700 more for early iPhone 15
iPhone 15 Pro Max. Photo by VnExpress/Tuan Hung
Some Vietnamese are paying up to VND18 million ($738) extra to own the iPhone 15 Pro Max one week before it is officially sold in Vietnam.

In the last two days, Tran Huu has called nearly 10 smartphone stores in Hanoi to get price quotations for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which he wants to buy on Friday to give as a gift.

For the version with one terabyte of storage, a shop owner has offered to sell him at VND65 million, 38% higher than Apple’s official price at VND47 million.

Another shop sells it at VND57 million, 21% higher than official price. Huu, however, will have to wait until late Friday to get his hands on it.

"Owners said that if I wait a few days the prices will drop, but since I want the phone early, I am willing to pay," he said.

Nguyen Van Cong, a long-time seller of Apple products, said those who buy the iPhone early often use it to gift and so are willing to pay a big premium for it.

Tuan Thanh, an iPhone seller in Ho Chi Minh City, plans to go to three big stores in Singapore on Friday to buy enough phones for customers who have pre-ordered.

"Although demand has plunged by 50% from last year as official sale in Vietnam is scheduled earlier, I will still be able to sell for high prices in the first few days," he said.

He plans to sell the phones at the highest of VND63 million, 34% higher than the official price.

The most expensive version, iPhone 15 Pro Max, was priced at VND60-70 million on Friday, but will drop very quickly over the upcoming days, even by the hour, he said.

As Apple Stores limit the number of purchases per customer, Thanh Tung, a trader in HCMC, has to buy from other customers in Thailand immediately after they purchased it from Apple Store.

He paid a price difference of around VND2 million.

Apple prioritizes iPhone 15 sales on Sept. 15 at its tier 1 markets such as the U.S., Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Australia.

In Vietnam, which has been upgraded to tier 2 this year, orders will begin on Sep. 22 and first delivery will be on Sep. 29.

The iPhone 15 is made of titanium not aluminum and steel like previous models. It also has a USB-C connection instead of a traditional Lightning port.

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