Within hours of Apple’s launch of the iPhone 7, local grey market retailers were already concocting plans to import the eagerly awaited mobile handsets to Cambodia ahead of its official launch in the Kingdom.
Chhim Sang Heng, owner of Hak Se phone shop in Phnom Penh, said his store was busy collecting pre-orders for the new model, and would arrange with contacts overseas to purchase the phones and ship them to Cambodia for resale once official distribution begins on September 16.
“We’ve received some orders from our customers already,” he said yesterday. “Right now, we cannot say how much it will cost, we’ll calculate it closer to the release date.”
Heng estimated that, based on previous experiences flipping iPhone 6 and 6s models before their official release in Cambodia, he could set a price on the handsets at around $1,000.
Apple launched its iPhone 7 on Wednesday, announcing that it would begin delivering its latest generation of the popular smartphone on September 16, with retail prices starting at $649 for its base model iPhone 7, and $769 for the iPhone 7 Plus – the same initial prices as its iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.
Chhim Cheang, owner of Sok Ly phone shop in Phnom Penh, said he intends to supply iPhone 7 handsets to the local market within a day of its first distribution in the US.
“As usual, it will arrive in our market a day after its [US] release,” he said.
Cheang said that based on previous experiences selling iPhone 6s and 6s Plus he estimates that the base model iPhone 7 will retail in Cambodia for about $1,000 to $1,200 ahead of its official release.
Kao Damaityma, marketing manager of iOne, one of two authorised local resellers of Apple products, said the official date for the release of the iPhone 7 in Cambodia had not been set.“We don’t know yet which day it will available in Cambodia market,” she said.
Damaityma said that iOne said it would observe Apple’s official release date on the iPhone, despite the activities of grey market retailers, who typically flip phones imported through unofficial channels for quick profit.
“It’s hard to control to the local market, they can ship iPhone for themselves to sell in the market, but we are an authorised company,” she said.
“We are waiting to hear from Apple on when it will arrive in our market.”