iPhone buyers hoping to make a quick buck by selling their devices at a profit on online marketplaces have largely come out drawing the short end of the stick.
More than 24 hours after the iPhone went on sale, Apple's website reported that numerous stores still have the phone in stock.
Most stores for AT&T, the phone's exclusive operator, have sold out of the 8GB models, but still have 4GB ones in stock.
Meanwhile, only 745 of 8,000 iPhone offerings on eBay have actually been sold. The sellers lucky enough to find a buyer fetched $962 on average, according to a report by Associated Press.
The 4GB iPhone retails at $499 and the 8GB model goes for $599.
More than 32 hours after the iPhone went on sale, most eBay auctions closed around the retail price, leaving the seller to pay for the sales tax and commission.
A $600 closing price carries about $25 in listing and closing fees. Sales taxes vary by county from zero to 8.65 per cent.
Apple started selling the iPhone in the US at 6pm local time on Friday. The company has not disclosed how many units it has sold, nor how many it has in stock.
In the hours before the actual launch, however, Apple employees assured buyers lining up outside the San Francisco Apple store: "We'll take care of you. "
The lack of information about the iPhone's supply caused many hopefuls to queue up outside stores for Apple and AT&T. Others offered to hold a spot in line at a fee.
Listings for the iPhone started appearing as soon as the device went on sale on the East Coast. Asking prices on Craigslist averaged $900 to $1,100. EBay prices also instantly shot up beyond the $900 level.
Buyers at the Apple store were allowed to purchase two iPhones. Stores for AT &T were limited to a single gadget.
Several people standing in line indicated that they intended to buy two iPhones and sell the second one in hopes of offsetting the purchase of their own device.
- The Silicon Valley Sleuth
blog has videos of:
The first person in line in San Francisco
The opening of the San Francisco Apple store at 6pm
A hands-on demo of the iPhone
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