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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

iPhone 5 a big seller in Gaza despite costing 5 times what it costs in the US

In the US, you can buy a 16gb iPhone 5 for $199 (no, I'm not planning to get one - I'd probably be thrown out of my neighborhood back in Israel), but in 'impoverished' Gaza they go for $1,000 for that size... and they're going like hotcakes.
Apple's new iPhone 5 is selling well in the Gaza Strip despite inflated prices, reaching Palestinians via smuggling tunnels even before it comes to Israel.
The cutting-edge smartphone is being snapped up for almost double what it costs in the United States, its price jacked up by middlemen on its circuitous delivery route from Dubai via tunnels linking the blockaded territory with Egypt.
The iPhone 5 will not be available until December from mobile operators in tech-mad Israel, which along with Egypt maintains a partial blockade of Gaza to prevent the entry of anything that could be used for military purposes.
But the phones have been available for a couple of weeks in Gaza and they were on display on Monday in three independent mobile stores in a one-block radius in downtown Gaza City.
Prices ranged from NIS 4,500 for the 16-gigabyte model to NIS 5,700 for 64 gigabytes.
"I ordered 30 and I've sold 20 so far," said one dealer. "We can order as many as we want. But most people are waiting for the price to go down. They're pretty expensive."
Apple has no store or official dealership in Gaza.
The current exchange rate is NIS 3.81 to the dollar. And you thought they were starving, didn't you? 

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