With enough cash, you can have just about anything.
In the days of the Soviet Union a tourist in Moscow could pay for his or her entire trip by selling a suitcase full of smuggled Levi’s jeans. Now, one could make substantially more sneaking a handbag full of the latest Apple products into Russia.
In this image conscious city, where Bentleys are so common that many owners simply curb park them, plenty of people are willing to plunk down some serious cash to be among the first in the country with the latest device.
The hot item this week is the new Apple iPhone 5, which went on sale around the world today. Apple does not have a store in Russia, however, and the company has not announced a release date for Russia. That hasn’t stopped a number of enterprising individuals from purchasing them elsewhere and bringing them into the country.
A simple internet search yields a number of gray market vendors promising to have the iPhone 5 in your hands as early as tonight. But it’s going to cost you.
A 16 gigabyte iPhone 5 is going for around 70,000 rubles, or about $2,200. Other vendors are quoting prices up to $3,700. That’s several times what it will cost you in an Apple store in the United States, where an unlocked version retails for $649.