Was the $10,000 iPhone Auction a Hoax?
According to the auction's seller, the mystery winner is someone who didn't actually intend to make the bid in the first place.
These sensational articles suggested that four days after the flagship smartphone went on sale and sold out of the initial stock of a record 9 million units, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) fans at the back of the line who'd missed out were worked into such a frenzy that they started shelling out over 15 times the retail price.
Mind you, the $10,100 unlocked iPhone fetched in this particular auction wasn't the pricier 64GB or even the 32GB model; it was the default, low, 16GB version in the somewhat more popular champagne -- pardon me, "gold" -- color. You know, the same one that will be available again next month directly from Apple for $649 without a contract or just $199 with either an AT&T (NYSE:T), Sprint (NYSE:S), or Verizon (NYSE:VZ) service plan. Of course, it's possible the phone can be had right now, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, who said, "While we've sold out of our initial supply of iPhone 5S, stores continue to receive new iPhone shipments regularly."
And, no, the $10K eBay iPhone isn't blinged out with diamonds or real gold either to help justify the preposterous price.
Nevertheless, this crazy auction sure drummed up a lot of media buzz about Apple and helped turn the iPhone 5S into a hot, must-have item after its new features didn't exactly tear up the blogosphere.
The whole thing seemed a little suspicious to me, and so I did a little digging. Once the bidding became obscene -- but a relative drop in the bucket -- at $1,000, the auction was suddenly usurped by a few, brand-new eBay members with no prior buying history. Bidders with the dubiously bookended usernames a***a and z***z duked it out until the $10,000 mark. Then member y***9 swooped in at the eleventh hour and topped the bidding with an extra Benjamin Franklin for the win.
So, you may ask, who is this uber Apple fan, y***9, with a hole burning in his or her PayPal account? According to the auction's seller, Papakar from Bridgeport, Connecticut, the mystery winner is someone who didn't actually intend to make the bid in the first place. "That transaction was cancelled as the buyer bid the item with wrong number of zeroes. It was a mistake," he told a Canadian tech blog.
Papakar then threw a second-chance offer back at eBay newbie z***z, who apparently declined, because that same unlocked, gold iPhone 5S that's "very hard to find," ultimately went for $970 in another auction.
Sure, a roughly $300 markup is decent enough. But it doesn't exactly make headlines, does it?
Apple Inc. Whips iPhone Users With Their Own Third-Party Cables
Google to Tie YouTube Comments to Google Plus
Microsoft's Surface Pro 2: So Right, but So Wrong
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.
Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.