The lottery system used by Apple to handle overwhelming demand has been reinstated this year in Hong Kong, where avid fans of the company’s smartphones can only hope to buy the latest version early.
Direct sales of the iPhone 5 are no longer available through traditional means on Apple’s HK site. The company has kicked off its lottery system to permit iPhone 5 sales only to those select customers who receive a confirmation e-mail from Cupertino.
The reason? Supply shortages. On Apple’s online store, shipping estimates are set between three and four weeks.
Many of the people who did manage to buy an iPhone in Hong Kong are said to be scalpers, whose business involves buying goods for their original asking price and then selling them at a considerably inflated price on the underground market.