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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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What's behind the staggering amounts of money some people are willing to part with for a new gadget?

"If it's cool, it has to be now. If it has to be now, there's a time premium on it and that's something that people – at least some people – are willing to pay for," Joel Steckel, a professor of marketing at NYU (and founding president of the INFORMS Society for Marketing Science), tells me.

Steckel says this is something that "goes beyond the iPhone, though it certainly applies" and is a reflection on Apple's carefully crafted reputation.

"These exorbitant premiums are generated by the brand overall," Steckel says. "That's why you tend to find the same situation with all Apple products all over the world."

Dan Burges, director of intelligence at FreightWatch International, a global logistics security firm headquartered in Austin, Texas, says serious problems with grey market technology purchases are few – the occasional warranty concern or an unhappy (authorized) retailer who is losing sales.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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