El mercado gris del iPhone

13.02.2008 @ 09:21 \09\Wed, 13 Feb 2008 09:21:39 +0000\39 +0000 UTC

En este interesante artículo de la revista Business Week describen un poco el funcionamiento del mercado “gris” del iPhone. Mencionan que el epicentro de todo se encuentra en Praga donde está ubicada la companía que fabrica el Turbo SIM, que es la tarjeta para “enganiar” al iPhone y poder usarlo con otros carriers. Además mencionan que las fábricas en China están directamente involucradas con la distribución de iPhones.

Ah y como siempre México presente…

BusinessWeek sources confirm analyst reports that 800,000 to 1 million iPhones, or about one-fourth of the total sold, are “unlocked”.

This iPhone aftermarket didn’t take long to develop. By the time the device went on sale on June 29, 2007, software hackers and companies that specialize in unlocking cell phones were already searching for ways to make the iPhone work on nonsanctioned networks. Within weeks, online forums were buzzing with an answer that emanated from a tiny company based in Prague, Czech Republic.

Pavel Zaboj is a 36-year-old former math student who together with friends developed an electronic device called Turbo SIM that was designed to turn cell phones into mobile payment systems. Turns out Turbo SIM could also be used to trick the iPhone into thinking it’s operating on AT&T’s network. By mid-August, Zaboj’s 10-person firm, Bladox, was being flooded with orders, particularly from Canada and Mexico.

The gray market has also gotten a push forward from exchange rates. With the dollar falling, consumers from Europe and elsewhere can get a better deal on an iPhone during a trip to the U.S. than buying it at home. Gray marketers saw the same opportunity and began recruiting a range of people to secure iPhones.

Some of the iPhones on the gray market may be leaking out from points closer to the source: the big Chinese factories where they are assembled. One distributor says he believes his China-based source gets iPhones from factory workers. One of this distributor’s suppliers recently gave him an internal Apple document showing the schematics of the original iPhone, as well as repair instructions. The most likely explanation is an Apple employee or contractor stole the documents, possibly to sell to would-be unlockers.

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