back to article Feds indict 14 over alleged scheme to get Apple to replace fake iPhones with real ones

US federal authorities on Wednesday announced the arrests of 11 people from a group of 14 indicted for tricking Apple into accepting about almost 10,000 fake iPhones and iPads and replacing them with genuine iDevices. The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California said it had served 11 search warrants …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How ironic

    Apple paying too much for overpriced tat.

    (Sorry, that was low hanging fruit..oops, I did it again!)

    1. NoneSuch Silver badge

      Apple Got Wise To The Plot

      The returned phones worked perfectly, no matter how you held them, so they got suspicious. When they were able to take them apart easily, saw the build quality was exceptional with no glue securing the battery, they just knew something was up.

  2. redpawn Silver badge


    than getting genuine kit fixed. Go talk to the genius now.

  3. Peter D


    You have to be quite the genius to fool those Apple Geniuses for 8 years.

  4. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

    I've used Dell and HP laptops until the backlights went dim. I could have replaced the light but by that time more powerful machines were available. So why is it (after watching Louis Rossman videos) that the components in Apple products fail so often?

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Because they use cheap-as-shit components which doesn't last as long as the expensive counterparts?

  5. JassMan Silver badge

    Why did they bother to get real iPhones to send to China?

    The following is an observation, not an attempt to condone the use of fake goods.

    I have a friend who recently came back back from holiday in Africa who says local markets are full of fake iPhones. Most of the local population use them since they are far cheaper than the real thing, yet they seem to work perfectly well. Possibly they are more reliable than the real thing?

    Presumably the "iPhones" sold in Africa actually come from China anyway so what is the point in a gang shipping fake phones from China to the US to be replaced by real phones from China then sending them all the way home again. It would be much cheaper for them to fill a container with the fake phones then switch it for a container of real ones before they even left China. I guess the fact that the death penalty is more likely to be carried out in China than in he US may be a major deterrent.

    1. sbt Silver badge

      They got to exchange dud fakes for working genuine units

      The returns were broken, so Apple couldn't tell they were fakes without tearing them down. Also, they had to be busted to qualify for replacement rather than repair. Lastly, I'd expect the genuine units Apple provided still commanded a premium in the Chinese market vs. the working fakes.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: They got to exchange dud fakes for working genuine units

        the idea was to re-sell them overseas at greatly inflated prices. As you pointed out, the genuine Apple product may be worth a LOT more "over there" than "over here", or so I recall from what I heard on the radio.

        Being as it is a somewhat local issue (here in San Diego) i heard about it from more local news sources yesterday. And the Apple fans that I know, having purchased them within the last few years, could easily have ended up with fakes in lieu of real ones.

        Hopefully this was just restricted to the 'return for repair' scam, so that you don't have a mass recall of iProducts to make sure that no fakes are out there...

      2. NeilPost Bronze badge

        Re: They got to exchange dud fakes for working genuine units

        Did they get recycled by the Apple iPhone dismantling robot, or were they repaired and kicked back out as refurb/exchanges ???

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