Sport & Auto
- About Future
- Digital Future
- Cookies Policy
- Terms & Conditions
- Investor Relations
- Contact Future
Whether your current-generation iPhone has Flappy Bird installed or not (see previous story), if it happens to be unlocked, that device is worth some cold, hard cash overseas, particularly in Brazil and Italy.
BloombergBusinessweek reported Thursday that Apple's unlocked iPhone models are becoming big business for entrepreneurial types willing to bring them overseas, where they can fetch upwards of nearly $1200.
The report outlines how one such traveler stumbled upon a goldmine after picking up an unlocked gold 32GB iPhone 5s for an employee in Italy, which cost the reporter $815 with tax but netted them roughly $1,130 worth of services in trade -- an immediate (and apparently tax-free) savings of $315.
As it turns out, others who frequently jet overseas for work are doing the same, particularly when the destination country is one of the 10 most lucrative: Brazil, Jordan, Turkey, Romania, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Italy, Denmark and France.
Although Apple won't comment on this phenomenon on the record, it appears they may actually be okay with such black market sales -- especially if it helps inflate their own cash coffers.
While the company's retail stores notoriously block the sale of unlocked iPhones during a new product launch when inventory is scarce, wait a couple of months and customers can walk in and buy nearly as many as they'd like -- a big change from the days when unlocking an iPhone required jailbreak tweaks and hopping between stores to avoid a "two per customer" limit.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter