SHANGHAI, July 3 -- APPLE Inc's iPhone, which debuted to a sales frenzy in the United States on Friday, is now being offered on Chinese auction Websites even though it can't be used here at present.
Taobao.com lists the eight-gigabyte iPhone for up to 8,800 yuan (US$1,142) - almost double the US retail price.
The phone is also being offered for sale on EBay China.
"I have the iPhone in hand, and Chinese buyers can get it within three days at best," said Genius62, a seller on the taobao.com Website.
He priced the 8G model at 6,800 yuan and the 4G iPhone at 5,800 yuan.
Questioned yesterday by a Shanghai Daily reporter, he replied by short message that no deals had been completed so far.
Buyers can choose express delivery services to receive their purchases, the offer stated. Transport costs range from US$40 to US$300, according to Genius62.
The iPhone, which costs US$499 to US$599 in the US, sold out at almost all stores, said AT&T Inc, the exclusive provider of wireless service for the handset. Shoppers bought up to 200,000 units on the first day, meeting analysts' top projections.
The average price on the EBay US site was US$740.
The iPhone, Apple's first handset, features a large touch-activated screen, Internet capability, a music player and camera.
It won't be sold in Asia until 2008, and China's launch timetable has not been set, Apple China said yesterday through its public relations agency.
An iPhone won't work in China at present because the country's transmission frequencies are different from those used in the United States, the cyber sellers admit.