I, like many others, have been trying to get my hand on an iPad 2 since its release in the states. My initial tries were in DE where I arrived to find myself about 150th in line. That's not strange, I guess. But, what IS strange is that 95% (maybe 97%) of the people in front of me in line were Asian. How many non-Asians can you count in the picture below? I count one. Maaaybe, two. I would dare say that the rest were all Chinese. The strangest thing, there were old folks there sitting in chairs. I mean OLD. Gray hair, hunched over, silk clothes only type of old. OLD. But, of course, they can always be buying one for their kids or grand kids... riiight? Wink wink nudge nudge.
This image is of only one part of the line. The line goes around the corner and up the side I was standing on and out the door and along the building. I'm sure the non-Asians in line were wondering what the hell was going on. Apparently, according to some reports, some (if not most) of the Chinese in line were purchasing iPad2s and reselling them for a profit. Nothing wrong there, right? Who wouldn't want to make a little profit after sitting in line for hours on end? But, when you multiply that by thousands, you have a problem... for the consumers. Apple still makes the sale, but we the consumers are stuck chasing the dream.
Where do they go you ask? Well, as fast as they can walk out the giant glass walls of the Apple store they make their way into the hands of "Apple trafficers". And, off to whoever is above them. Then, packaged (it seems that they package it in roll alongs like the one seen above) and sent back to China for a crazy mark up. From what I understand, the trafficers offer those in line anything from $50 to $150 to stand in line and purchase the iPad2 for them. Little do the people in line know, the iPad2s then are sold for double (more for the 16G and less for the 64G) on the gray market in China. Even the covers and HDMI cables go for over double.
Looks like they made a drug bust, right? But, no, this is the tiny store in Hong Kong that just got their shipment in. I can't say that I agree with what's happening. And, I don't appreciate not being able to get my hands on a iPad2. But, I also can't disagree with people trying to make a buck. I don't know how legal what they're doing is, but if you could buy something and turn around and sell it for double, wouldn't you? If you wouldn't, you're not a very smart business person. In the end, I'm dissapointed that I have to see others wave their shiney iPad2s in front of me as they get their grubby hands on theirs. But, I also can't be upset because those that are getting it before me where either smart enough to buy online, crazy enough to wait in lines at 7:30am (or overnight in some cases), or insane enough to pay more than double. In other words, they worked harder than I'm willing to in order to get their hands on it. I guess I'll have to wait till after March 25th when the international markets are set for their releases easing the demand in the states and the iPad2s will again flow freely. I'm okay with that.
You can go to this article to read more. They even have a video. That's where I got my two pics that aren't mine. Interesting article.