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Box Breakers clear out stock of 8GB iPhones, fuel booming grey market

It took only one week for O2 and Carphone Warehouse to get rid of their stock of 8GB Apple iPhone thanks to a surprising but welcomed £100 rebate; both retailers' websites placed virtual "no more stock available" signs on their front door.

The extent of the success of the promotion came when Tradedoubler, a popular affilliate website, told its members to remove all reference to the iPhone promotion in their adverts because of the phenomenal response to the promotion caused Carphone Warehouse to be "iPhone" broke.

Some O2 shops may still stock 8GB iPhone although CW has confirmed that it no longer has any iPhone left, with no apparent and immediate plans to restock the phone; The 16GB iPhone is still on sale at a whopping £329 for the time being.

The reason why the 8GB iPhone is so popular despite being locked to O2 seems to boil down to the fact that it is being unlocked by the hundreds and resold in locally or elsewhere at a premium price.

Box Breakers are apparently making a killing with many unlockers noticing a prolonged surge in the demand for iPhone unlocking.

Unlocked 8GB iPhones have even been traced back as far as in Mauritius (opens in new tab) where they are sold for a whopping £385.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.