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What Kind of Person Pays $3,700 for an iPhone 5?

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A deep-pocketed Russian who doesn't want to wait until December, that's who.

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Editor's note: This article was originally published on September 13, 2012.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Pre-orders for the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5 begin September 14 at 12:01 a.m., Pacific time. The device, which will ship on September 21, retails for $649, $749, and $849 for the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models, respectively. Buy one on-contract through AT&T (NYSE:T), Sprint (NYSE:S), or Verizon (NYSE:VZ), and those prices drop to $199, $299, and $399.

Live in Russia? That iPhone'll be $3,700, please.

A longer certification process for smartphones in Russia means the iPhone 5 won't officially hit the Russian market until mid-December. In the meantime, the "grey market" (products obtained from sources other than the manufacturer or its licensed importer) is filling demand at astronomical prices.

India, China, UAE Also Going Grey

It's happening elsewhere, too. A vendor in Karol Bagh, India, tells the Business Standard that, "from our previous experience, we have seen people willing to pay even double the official price to get the product within a week of its US launch."

Chinese consumers are reportedly paying "a minimum of 10,000 yuan," or $1,500, for the iPhone 5. And in the UAE, retailers are expecting to see iPhone 5 prices as high as $2,700.
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