First Weekend iPhone 6 Sales Top 10 Million: Unfortunately For Apple's Image, There Were Apparently Some (Exploited?) Straw Buyers in Those Long Lines

According to a Sept. 22nd, 2014 Apple press release (and as expected), Apple sold over 10 million new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models, a new record, in the first three days of their launch weekend that started on September 19th, 2014. The new phones were only available in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK.

And, as reported in the September 22nd, 2014 Washington Post, there was a strong - but not state sanctioned - underground market for the new iPhones in China as well. 

Because China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology failed to grant Apple the necessary official permission to sell the iPhone 6s in China on Apple's planned Sept, 19th, 2014 launch date, the pent-up demand lead to some profiteering. According to the Washington Post, people in Beijing were apparently paying up to "$1,430... [for] the cheapest base model (seven times to the U.S. price of $199 with a carrier contract). The iPhone 6 plus was even costlier -- at more than $2,400 (versus $299 at U.S. stores)."

The short film above by Casey Neistat shows the uglier NY side of the Washington Post story - as some poor people (immigrants from China?) waited in long lines outside Apple stores in Manhattan. These first-day buyers were not the eager fan boys of prior Apple launches. After they paid cash for their limit of 2 phones, these apparent straw buyers slipped away to hand their phones off to others - perhaps people from NY who didn't want to wait online and were willing to pay a premium for a new iPhone - or perhaps smugglers with plans of selling these new phones in China.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook didn't comment on straw buyers in the Apple press release, but he did say this: “We would like to thank all of our customers for making this our best launch ever, shattering all previous sell-through records by a large margin. While our team managed the manufacturing ramp better than ever before, we could have sold many more iPhones with greater supply and we are working hard to fill orders as quickly as possible.”

No word on when, or if, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will allow legal sales of the iPhone 6 in China. But, as stated by Chief Engineer Zhang Feng in May of 2014, the MIIT wants Chinese non-mobile users to convert to domestic operating systems - and the delayed approval of Apple's new flagship phone may be part of a larger plan.

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