With Apple’s presence in Asia continuing to boom, buyers of its latest products are finding it difficult to compete with the ever-increasing number of scalpers trying to get their hands on the latest iPhones and iPads to import into China and other regions to sell on the grey or black market.
With preorder stock of the iPhone 4S in Hong Kong selling out in under ten minutes, it appears there was more to the impressive sales than consumers with fantastically fast fingers, in fact Chinese scalpers (unsurprisingly) have created apps to bypass the Apple website completely and secure – in some cases – up to 10 devices at a time.
The existence of one piece of software leaked out of a Chinese forum post requesting additional ‘scramblers’ to secure Apple devices and distribute them to dealers. China-focused website MIC Gadget noted the post and identified the processes the scalpers were using to process orders in a matter of seconds.
The application allows users to preload their credit card details and booking information and is able to provide notifications on when device orders have gone live. Instead of having to enter details manually and if a product is available, the ‘scrambler’ can order an iPhone or iPad simply by entering a verification code – bypassing the website slowdowns and potential inventory sell outs.
The dealer in the posting notes that he will pay around $50 for each device ordered, ensuring that if a ‘scrambler’ was interested, they could make up to $500 a day ordering iPhones or iPads (if allowed to order up to 10 devices).
To get the job as a scrambler, you need:
1. To type fast and patient.
2. To type accurately.
3. Have Internet access at home.