From my official tech blog:
Last week, we ran an IDG story about Apple’s iPads selling well in Asia ahead of the official launch. The report mentioned that iPad appeared to be selling well in Asia despite the fact that Apple's official overseas launch wasn’t until the end of May.
The report was filed from Taipei. It said that the popular iPad was on sale at two stores near the main electronics bazaar in Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan.
Well, it turns out that Singapore is not that far behind Taipei in terms of iPad sales. This is not surprising at all because Singaporeans are gadget lovers anyway. Not too long ago, they had displayed their love for Apple’s products with serpentine queues when iPhone was first launched by SingTel here.
Personally speaking, it was only last week when I first saw an iPad in Singapore. I was attending a publishing workshop when I spotted an Indian entrepreneur, Manish Dhingra, director of Mediology, playing with the device. Naturally, many from the crowd, including myself, were interested to have a look at it, something that Manish graciously offered.
“I got it in the US,” he told me. Manish happened to be in the States when the iPad was launched and luckily he could secure a piece for himself before the stores ran out of the supplies (perhaps you know that iPads are manufactured in China).
During the workshop itself, one of my colleagues mentioned that some people were selling iPads through online forums in Singapore. They were selling the pieces with marked up prices. For example, the 16GB (without wi-fi) iPad should be available for around S$700 (US$499). It was being sold for S$1,500 and above! And people were snapping them up!
iPads at Mustafa
This Monday, my colleague Allan surprised me when he told me that he was getting his iPad from Mustafa. Mustafa, if you don’t know, is a very well-known 24 hours Indian specialty superstore in Little India, Singapore’s famous district for everything Indian. I thought Allan was joking. How could Mustafa be selling iPads? Was it even allowed?
A little later, a triumphant Allan returned with his black iPad. “I got it at Mustafa,” he preened. “Mustafa had imported around 70 pieces and now I think they are down to 3.” I’m sure it would all be gone by now, I thought as I was talking to him.
Allan’s wasn’t a bad deal. He got the 16GB wi-fi iPad for S$1,089 all right. Compared to the exorbitant rates being charged elsewhere, this is not a bad rate.
I did a little more research. Apparently, the iPad is being sold at many more places in the Lion City: Sim Lim Square, Far East Plaza, Lucky Plaza, Funan IT Mall, and City Square Mall. Moreover, some enterprising Singaporeans are selling new iPads shipped from the US on eBay. Naturally, they are charging a premium rate for them.