Sluggish demand, says one report. An over-abundance of supply, says another.
Dueling stories Monday in Reuters and the
about the Chinese gray market for Apple AAPL products agree on one thing: The prices the new iPad can fetch have fallen roughly 30% in the past two weeks.
When the latest iPad — the one with the much-hyped Retina display — showed up in Beijing the day after its U.S. launch, Chinese resellers could get as much as $1,100 for a model that retails for less than $500. Today, according to Reuters, prices like $600 or $700 are more common.
What’s going on?
The Financial Times offers two explanations in the form of a pair of quotes:
Reuters, in a considerably more ambitious story that follows the path of iPads bought in San Francisco-area Apple Stores, stuffed in suitcases, shipped by courier to Hong Kong and smuggled by backpack onto the mainland, draws a different conclusion.
It points out that unlike the iPad 2, which went on sale in Hong Kong and Shanghai nearly two months after its U.S. launch, the third-generation iPad was available in quantity in Hong Kong and Shanghai Apple Stores a week after U.S. sales began.
The two reports are not contradictory. But the headlines send a very different signal: