June 23, 2010
Ebay shoppers can be among the first to get their hands on Apple's new iPhone 4—if they don't mind paying markups of 400% or more.
Numerous Ebay sellers are hawking the new smartphone at prices approaching $1,000. For instance, Ebay merchant "Mmiikkeell" sold a 32GB black iPhone 4 for $930 early Wednesday after receiving 11 bids. 16GB models were selling for $700 or more. Officially, the 16GB model is priced at $199 while the 32GB model is listed at $299. Both prices require a two-year AT&T contract. It's not clear how, or if, Ebay sellers managed to order an iPhone without also signing up for the contract—which would nullify their profits. Many sellers may be existing AT&T customers who've purchased iPhone 4 through their current contracts and not activated the new device. Some sellers were advising potential buyers that the phone would not ship with a SIM card. Apple and ATT's policies on the matter were not immediately clear. Most sellers claim they will have the iPhone 4 in hand by Thursday, which marks the official launch date. June 24, however, will for many outlets mark only a theoretical debut for the device. iPhone 4 is now on backorder at the AT&T and Apple online stores, and it's expected to be in short supply at authorized retail outlets Best Buy, Wal-mart, and Radio Shack. iPhone 4 features a number of enhancements over its predecessor, the iPhone 3GS, including higher screen resolution (960 x 640 pixel technology dubbed Retina Display), a front-facing camera for video chats, and a longer lasting battery that affords 40% more talk time. It's also 24% thinner. iPhone 4 also includes a 3-axis gyro and a slick new glass and stainless steel case—and it's capable of multitasking thanks to the new iOS 4 operating system. "iPhone 4 is the biggest leap since the original iPhone," Apple CEO Steve Jobs proclaimed as he unveiled the product on June 7 at an Apple event in San Francisco.
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