Locked iPhone has had its day in Vietnam

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Vietnamese are no longer buying locked iPhones, while smartphone shops do not want to sell this item.

Saving money for half a year, Tran Thinh bought an iPhone 7 Plus Red locked version on March 13. On the same day, Thinh heard that Apple had neutralized the magic Gevey sim which helped unlock iPhones.

“I swear never to buy locked iPhones again. It is too risky. I had to spend more than VND10 million on the iPhone and I lived in fear that my expensive iPhone may become useless at any time,” Thinh said.

For the last half year, locked iPhones have not been sought by iPhone fans. The problem is that Apple continuously updates the patches, neutralizing Gevey sim and making it impossible to activate locked products.

Tuan Anh, the owner of a private shop in Hanoi, said locked iPhones once made up 60 percent of the shop’s sales. People bought locked products because they were cheaper than international versions. However, the figure has dropped to 30 percent.

Meanwhile, Tri, the representative of a retail chain of 10 shops, said on Zing.vn that the sales of locked iPhones now account for 10 percent of total sales only.

The prices of locked iPhones have fallen dramatically. At many shops, locked iPhone 6S is quoted at VND3 million, a VND1 million decrease compared with the previous month. iPhone 7 Plus is priced at VND7 million, or VND1.5 million lower than two months ago.

“We have cut the prices of locked iPhones to the deepest low. For some models, we sell products at cost prices to attract buyers. However, buyers now are not interested in locked products anymore,” said Xuan Tuyen from a distribution chain in Hanoi.

“We plan to stop selling locked iPhones. We will only sell iPhone international versions and Android products,” he said.

Meanwhile, Quang Trung, the representative of another shop, said he decided to stop selling locked iPhones four months ago, when Apple blocked many generations of Gevey sim.

He admitted that the decision had led to a sharp fall in revenue, but he still has to avoid troubles related to maintenance. “Perhaps, the locked iPhone has come to an end,” he said.

As Apple has blocked Gevey sim, the sim manufacturer has issued a new ICCID code to continue ‘cheating’ Apple to unlock iPhones. Apple gave new patches to block new sims six times in the last six months.

Sellers have to help clients upgrade the Gevey sim, but the profit is not attractive.

By Kim Chi

Source: Viet Nam Net