NRIs making cash + home trip with iPhone 5

Demand for Apple's latest phone in India sets up grey 'export' market

iPhone 5 prices continue to tank in the UAE, but the phone is selling at a premium in India.

Back home, Indians are paying high premiums just to ensure they are among the privileged few who own the new Apple gadget before it’s officially launched in the country.

And for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) here in the UAE that’s a money-spinning opportunity. A few NRIs have already got pre-orders and are picking up iPhones as they expect to make a profit of between Dh1,100 and Dh1,500 per unit.

In India, the 16GB iPhone 5 is unofficially selling on for Dh4,000 (Rs58,000), Dh6,482 (Rs93,990) for 32 GB and Dh7,309 (Rs105,990) for 64 GB, while group buying websites in the UAE are selling 16GB for Dh3,599, 32GB for Dh5,199 and 64GB for Dh5,699. (Currency exchange rate was Rs14.4 for each Dh1 as of Thursday)

Profit on 16 GB phone is mere Dh401, but it spirals to Dh1,283 and Dh1,610 for 32 GB and 64 GB, respectively.

Abhishek Jaiswal has already bought three phones - one 16 GB and two 32 GB. He will be flying to India this week.

"I have got confirmed buyers in India. I have bought three phones and have booked my ticket to Mumbai for this week. I have even bought a SIM-cutter so I can get their phones working.”

Jaiswal says the iPhones will make a cash profit of Dh1,600 for me and “I fly to India for free.”

Rajesh R, who is flying to India for Eid holidays, has got confirmed buyers for iPhones.

“I already have pre-orders from India at a fixed price that I cannot reveal. Just before the holidays I will take at least five phones down and hope to make a profit of Dh1,000-Dh1500 on each.

“These are, of course, trust buys where Skype contact is made, the brand new boxes shown on video, advance money out down and the deal goes through when all are satisfied. Young Indians have the money right now and will not hesitate to pay for the latest iPhone.”

Raj admits it’s a small window of opportunity and one needs to get the timing right to make money.

India media has reported that iPhone 5 was selling for Rs115,000 in the grey market. The Times of India quoted an unnamed trader in Delhi's Khan Market saying he had sold the first lot of iPhone 5s for Rs135,000 a few days ago.

Apple has not yet announced a launch date for India, the company website, however, states that iPhone 5 will soon come to India.




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