THE newly-released iPhone 5S is being offered for sale on auction website eBay for as much as £2,000 by those anticipating enthusiastic fans will pay over the odds to get their hands on the device.
The wait for the handset ended on Friday as thousands of people streamed into Apple stores. Many had camped out for days.
The 5S device, said to be twice as fast as its predecessor, is available through EE, O2, Three, Carphone Warehouse and Phones4u priced at £549 (16GB), £629 (32GB) and £709 (64GB).
But with hundreds of listings on eBay for the device with fixed prices running into the thousands, it appears that those who have already bought it are hoping to cash in.
Some fans had began queuing outside Apple’s flagship store in London’s Regent Street as early as Monday afternoon to buy Apple’s latest model, which is equipped with a fingerprint scanner.
The device, which also comes in silver and “space’’ grey, is expected to fly off the shelves – but it is unclear whether the colourful 5C model will enjoy the same reception.
The cheaper 5C comes in five hues – pink, blue, yellow, green, and white – and has been released at a time when Apple faces stiffening competition.
The two handsets were unveiled earlier this month.
The 5C – which marks Apple’s departure from premium phones – has been available for “pre-order” and is priced at £469 (16GB) and £549 (32GB).
Gavin Thomas, deputy editor of British-based iCreate magazine, said anticipation surrounding Apple releases had snowballed in recent years.
He said: “Apple have got a good, reliable brand where customers know what they are getting, straight off the bat. An Apple product launch is always an exciting time, and today was no exception.
“There was a lot of talk about the ‘budget iPhone’ this time around, too.”
It emerged yesterday that hackers claim to have been able to access people’s personal data on iPhones because of a security glitch in Apple’s new iOS 7 software.
The flaw means that the phone’s lockscreen can be bypassed, meaning that texts, e-mails and photos can be accessed along with users’ Twitter and Facebook accounts.
The problem was discovered soon after iOS 7 became publicly available on Wednesday, but appears to only be an issue with the iPhone 4S and 5 handsets.
A spokesman for Apple said: “Apple takes user security very seriously. We are aware of this issue, and will deliver a fix in a future software update.”
The new-look operating system had already got off to a rocky start as users complained about difficulties downloading it.
Hailed as a new beginning for the technology giant, the iOS 7 was eagerly anticipated but tech fans complained of messages telling them: “An error occurred whilst downloading iOS 7.0.”
The American company’s chief executive, Tim Cook, described iOS 7 as “the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone’’.