Beijing police shut down massive iPhone counterfeiting operation

Police in Beijing have busted a factory that produced more than 41,000 fake iPhones worth as much as 120 million yuan ($19 million), including some that reached the United States, and have arrested nine suspects in the counterfeiting operation.

Police seized 1,400 handsets and large quantities of accessories during the May 14 raid. In the United States, the newest Apple Inc handsets can fetch $649, or more, depending on the model.


There still seems to be a market for willing (or scammed) customers to buy a fake iPhone. I had the chance to look at one of those devices here in Shanghai. The look and feel of the hardware is almost indistinguishable from a genuine iPhone. The quality of the components – such as screen or camera – is a huge difference though. On the software side they use an android OS with an iOS skin. Once again, the interface is almost a pixel perfect copy. They even make their own android version of iOS system apps like Photos or Music. The illusion breaks, though, the moment for example the android keyboard pops up, or an android system message appears.

For an inexperienced buyer without prior iPhone / iOS knowledge it looks pretty convincing, though, and I am not surprised to see people falling for the scam.

Leave a Comment