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iPhone 5, a hit in Gaza

Oct. 17, 2012 at 7:35 AM
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GAZA, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Amid rising unemployment and economic crisis, Gazans are queuing up to buy the Apple iPhone 5, willing to pay double its price, officials said.

The iPhones, sent from Dubai, are smuggled into Gaza via tunnels from Egypt, reaching the enclave before it's available in neighboring Israel, al-Arabiya reported Wednesday.

The cutting edge smartphone is being sold for nearly double the price in the United States. It costs $1,170 to $1,480 in Gaza, compared with $650 to $850 in the United States, the network said.

"I ordered 30 and have sold 20 so far. We can order as many as we want, but most people are waiting for the price to go down. They are pretty expensive," a dealer told the pan-Arab network.

Transport and handling costs for all imports are inflated by bribes paid in Egypt to facilitate the smuggling of goods into the area where 1.6 million people live, the network said. Hamas also imposes sales tax on goods, making it more expensive.

The iPhone will not be available until December in Israel. Apple has no official store or dealership in Gaza.

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