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iPad 2 Generates Lucrative Black Market For Criminal Gangs

Reports have emerged of Asian gangs buying scores of Apple iPad 2 tablets in the US in order to resell them in China or Hong Kong to customers who cannot buy them yet.

The Dailymail (opens in new tab) says that the most expensive iPad 2 model, which costs $829, was resold in Hong Kong for a whopping $2000, a profit of more than $1100.

The fact that Apple chose to release the iPad 2 in the US first only served to fuel the grey market. The fact that the iPad 2 is not unlocked as well means that the device can be used anywhere in the world without having to hack it.

The New York Post reports that some of the gangs even gloat about being able to buy large amounts of iPad 2, leaving many customers empty handed and understandably frustrated.

There are unconfirmed reports that Apple has managed to sell up to 600,000 iPad tablets during the first 72 hours of general availability.

The online store now shows a delivery window of up to 35 days on all iPad 2 models; even third party retailers like Target or Bestbuy sold out within hours as they scrambled to meet demand.

The iPad 2 will be available in the UK from the 25th of March, next Friday and it is likely that the same scenario is going to happen here, bearing in mind that items that are exported outside the country can get a 20 per cent VAT discount.

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

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.