We’re a nation of early adopting “snobs” when it comes to tech. That’s according to a study published by the University of Warwick’s economy analyst Professor Michael Waterson. He’s predicting that UK tech fans will be willing to pay as much as three times the recommended retail price for the iPhone 5 when it launches just to get their hands on it early, based on his findings monitoring eBay transactions following the launch of the iPhone 4.
“We monitored all eBay transactions on the iPhone 4 for six weeks from 24th June last year when it became available in the UK. The extent of eBay activity on this product was extraordinary, with total transactions amounting to around £1.5m for 2,183 sales,” said Professor Waterson.
“For the 16GB version of the phone, 98% of sales completed at a value in excess of the listed retail price of £499. The average price was £640.35 and the maximum achieved was £1,180. For the 32GB version of the phone, 97% of the sales completed above the listed retail price of £599. The average price was £778.73 and the maximum price achieved was £1,551.”
According to Waterson, possible stock shortages will play a key role in inflating prices of iPhone 5 handsets on the grey market. Speaking of the iPhone 4, he continued:
“The product was in short supply and so it’s probable that demand was influenced by immediacy or ‘snob value’. It will be fascinating to see what will happen to the iPhone 5 as the launch is eagerly anticipated. I think we will see the same level of activity.
“It seems we are willing to pay well over the retail price for the kudos of being one of the first people to own the latest piece of technology. This study suggests technology is the one area where we are not prepared to tighten our belts in the current financial climate.”