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  • White iPhone 4 Kits Bring Teen $130K & Threats


    A 17-year-old in New York City who bought parts from China to make white iPhone 4 conversion kits has made a pile of money… and a potentially dangerous enemy. Fei Lam, a high school senior from Queens, says he's gotten a threatening letter from a private investigator accusing him of selling stolen goods, and thinks it sounds a lot like the legal threats Apple made against the kid who found/stole the iPhone 4 test unit back in April.

    Lam - like many iPhone users - was tired of waiting for the white iPhone 4. But unlike many iPhone users in the US, he speaks fluent Mandarin and has contacts at Apple's manufacturer in China. Working through "a guy from a few years back that had somewhat of a relationship with folks in Foxconn," Lam was able to get what he claims are authentic iPhone 4 white screens, digitizers, bezels, home buttons and case backs. He started repacking and shipping the kits from his parents' house, but was losing money on the deal until he figured out how to have the parts shipped direct. After his story was picked up by TechCrunch, sales went through the roof.

    That's when the trouble began.

    Lam told the New York Observer he got a “threatening” letter from a private investigator who claims the parts are stolen, which Lam says he is "100 percent sure is not the case." The investigator did not identify who he is working for, but Lam - and common sense - says it is Apple. "There are a couple of other sellers online and somehow I'm the 'focus' of it all," Lam says. "I think this guy is just trying to scare me into stop selling on behalf of Apple."

    Meanwhile, Lam says he has no intention of shutting down his website, WhiteiPhone4Now.com, which is still online and still taking orders. He's going to use the money to "bootstrap my first startup and help pay for college," he says: Lam plans to go to New York University next year, majoring in computer science or business.

    Source: TiPB
    This article was originally published in forum thread: White iPhone 4 Kits Bring Teen $130K & Threats started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 97 Comments
    1. Kimone_tf's Avatar
      Kimone_tf -
      The company probably did a short run of white equipment and this guy has gotten his hands on some rejects or end of run.
    1. BlackG35's Avatar
      BlackG35 -
      Quote Originally Posted by hedsick View Post
      BlackG35: You ordered from this site and had those issues? I was considering using this site.. Should I not?
      Yeah ordered from his site, both slightly defective. I even ordered one kit from iResq which was also slightly damaged.

      It seems like all these kits are rejects that are finding there way via black market to people who are willing to pay. I think thats why all these kits are so expensive.

      The best white kit I bought actually came from cnn.cn. It was the most expensive, I think almost $400 with shipping, but it was the best quality kit I seen so far.
    1. iJake's Avatar
      iJake -
      Anyone know what the wallpaper is in that advertised photo :-)?
    1. Flaming.llama's Avatar
      Flaming.llama -
      Quote Originally Posted by madczech View Post
      What do you wanna say with that??

      I'm saying that he's an adult with a job, not a kid.
    1. Effenpig!'s Avatar
      Effenpig! -
      Quote Originally Posted by cheet0 View Post
      Because if someone buys it after the official white ones are released and doesn't know it isn't an official Apple quality they could assume Apple makes piss poor products. This based on the lack of quality mentioned in the above posts.
      That's the reason, huh? The single, solitary reason? Hmmm, I'm just guessing, but wouldn't the fact that for each one of these kits sold, apple potentially loses revenue, be a more logical reason? If someone buys this kit they're not going to buy a white iPhone from apple, right?
    1. raduga's Avatar
      raduga -
      Quote Originally Posted by Flaming.llama View Post
      I'm saying that he's an adult with a job, not a kid.
      "Adults with Jobs" and "Kids with Jobs" and "Kids" are not all mutually exclusive categories.
      There's something of a transition involved, and not everyone succeeds with that transition.

      "Adults with Jobs" can become "Adults without Jobs" pretty easily too.
      Unless your name is Steve; some of them had Jobs from birth and will probably be stuck with them for life.
    1. BSmith's Avatar
      BSmith -
      I can't believe all the attorneys we have in here that are fluent in not only Chinese law but are knowledgeable in the contents of Apple's contract with Foxconn.

      Personally, I think someone is taking them out of the "To Be Destroyed" bin, figuring no harm, no foul, they are going to the trash anyways. Might even be someone higher up as I though Apple required them to be pretty secure with this kind of stuff, which would be why Apple is really throwing a fit. They might be able to get him to kill himself too.
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by xerray View Post
      Pretty damn exspensive for the whole white kit if you ask me, $279.00 for the whole thing, $169.00 for front + home button and $135.00 for just the back panel.
      That's your problem, not his. People with the cash are buyin.

      and F apple.
    1. EskimoRuler's Avatar
      EskimoRuler -
      Some serious stuff
    1. vantheman169's Avatar
      vantheman169 -
      ya i wouldnt want to get an email like that. I might hit the spam button haha
    1. SViens85's Avatar
      SViens85 -
      Wish there was a cheaper way!
    1. raduga's Avatar
      raduga -
      Quote Originally Posted by BSmith View Post
      I can't believe all the attorneys we have in here that are fluent in not only Chinese law but are knowledgeable in the contents of Apple's contract with Foxconn.

      Personally, I think someone is taking them out of the "To Be Destroyed" bin, figuring no harm, no foul, they are going to the trash anyways. Might even be someone higher up as I though Apple required them to be pretty secure with this kind of stuff, which would be why Apple is really throwing a fit. They might be able to get him to kill himself too.
    1. devin_deville's Avatar
      devin_deville -
      all apple is gonna do is release the white 4's in the spring so everybody thats been waitin will get one. everybody who's anybody with apple products know they upgrade the iphone's every summer (iphone 5?!?!).. when smart people like this kid have pretty much proved apple is lying with the whole "supply" thing that has supposedly been keeping them from releasin the white 4's it messes up their whole strategy.. speaking of the iphone 5.. a 3D screen maybe?
    1. Tyronal's Avatar
      Tyronal -
      Quote Originally Posted by devin_deville View Post
      all apple is gonna do is release the white 4's in the spring so everybody thats been waitin will get one. everybody who's anybody with apple products know they upgrade the iphone's every summer (iphone 5?!?!).. when smart people like this kid have pretty much proved apple is lying with the whole "supply" thing that has supposedly been keeping them from releasin the white 4's it messes up their whole strategy.. speaking of the iphone 5.. a 3D screen maybe?
      You obviously don't read too much. The whole white iphone thing has nothing to do with supply fool. The manufacturing process is throwing up inconsistent results, meaning different shades of white being produced. So all the prototype batches had to be trashed. Someone has obviously stolen them, which makes anyone in possession of these kits, in possession of stolen goods. Understand now? The guys a fool if he thought these weren't going to bring some heat on himself. So stealing is ok? Selling stolen goods is ok? Buying stolen goods is ok? Oh, it's ok as long as it's Apple right? BTW, modding your phone with these kits voids your warranty.

      Selling stolen prototypes undermines the whole quality control Apple are so anal about. If Apple sold differing shades of white iphones, all you guys would be b1tching from here til sunday. As the saying goes, never let fools and idiots see a job half done.
    1. iJake's Avatar
      iJake -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thenextkiller View Post
      Anyone know that homescreen wallpaper
      I searched and searched and finally found it!

    1. MPS3's Avatar
      MPS3 -
      well looks like apple got to him
      his site is now down
      Web hosting, domain name registration and web services by 1&1 Internet
    1. Danny2011's Avatar
      Danny2011 -
      I recently purchased their product and it was good quality