The iPhone 5S is now being sold on the black market and on auction sites for three times its retail price, after selling out in stores across the world.
Thousands of iPhone fans queued around the block at Apple’s stores as both the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C models went on sale.
Huge queues formed outside stores in London, New York and Tokyo, along with other cities across the world, as Apple for the first time released two models on the same day.
In some cities, the phones sold out in record time, with none left in Cardiff and Liverpool by 8am. At around 7am, store bosses announced there were no more 5S models left, only the cheaper 5C handsets.
There were complaints that people were queuing up for handsets simply to sell them on. Now, there are countless 5S models listed on ebay, for as much as £3,000. Consumers seem prepared to pay over the odds for the handsets, with most currently having reached the £600 mark, with around 40 bids each, despite having hours to go before the end of the auctions.
The new gold model of the iPhone 5S proved the most covetable, selling out across large swathes of the UK and beyond.
Apple did set a strict limit on customer purchase at just two each. But, that didn’t stop an immediate black market springing up outside Apple’s Regent Street shop.
The situation in Texas was even more dire – with fans held up at gunpoint and robbed of their wallets, previous iPhone models and tablets as they queued up for the latest models.
Network operators are now announcing severe shortages of the iPhone 5S.
02 is only selling the iPhone 5S’s online, although says consumers can go instore to test demo models before buying. A spokesman said 02 had taken the unprecedented move because of the shortage.
Vodafone says not all of its shops have been able to have the new handsets because of availability problems and US networks are reporting similar shortages. One said: “We will have grotesquely unavailable inventory.”
Those who have managed to get their hands on one of the new handsets, however, have so far been impressed.
Eli Milchman for cultofmac says: “The gist of my immediate gut reaction to the iPhone 5S is, well – wow.”
And fans who queued for days just to buy a handset, said it was worth it. The first customer at the Tokyo store said: “I am super happy. The first thing I want to do is to try out the finger print recognition function. That is what I looked for the most.”
Despite the widespread excitement, Apple shares flagged slightly following the launch, as analysts wait to see exactly what Apple’s sales figures are.
The firm has also come in for criticism following the release of the new iOS 7 with many users reporting they were having trouble downloading the update when it first launched earlier this week.
Security flaws were also highlighted, with users pointing out that photos and videos could be accessed even when a device is locked.