Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Inside the iPad 2 gray market

March 14, 2011: 8:02 AM ET

By Sunday, the new tablets were selling in China for up to 105% over their sticker price

iPad 2s packed in suitcases for resale in Hong Kong. Photos: M.I.C Gadget

The staff manning the huge crowd that mobbed Apple's (AAPL) Fifth Avenue Store Friday estimate that as many as half the iPads sold that day were being bought for re-sale overseas.

It's a familiar pattern. In September, the New York Times ran an investigative report detailing how Chinese customers were lining up to buy pairs of $600 iPhone 4s, selling them for $750 apiece to a Chinatown middleman who shipped them to Hong Kong, where they could fetch as much as $1,000 each.

On Sunday, M.I.C Gadget -- best known for its Steve Jobs action figure -- profiled a Mr. Lo, whom it describes as the "master" of the Hong Kong iPhone gray market. According to this report, Lo did the same thing with the new iPad. He had couriers in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles ready to fly suitcases stuffed with iPad 2s across the Pacific, and by Sunday was selling them for mark-ups ranging from 83% to 105%.

Mr. Lo's price list below the fold.

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for

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