Chinese Repair Shop Employees Scam Apple With Counterfeit iPhone Parts

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iphone_5_china_topTech in Asia highlights a report [Google translation] from Chinese site TechWeb describing how employees at a repair shop in China scammed Apple by turning in counterfeit iPhone parts to be replaced with genuine parts.

The scam saw a Wenzhou Apple shop owner turning in what he claimed were 121 iPhone 4S BAND parts (the core of the phone, worth about $476 each) that were broken and asking that they be replaced back in December of 2012. Apple complied, but in January discovered that the parts he submitted as broken were actually counterfeits. They reported this to the shop, which claimed innocence and reported the case to the police.

According to the report, one of the shop's engineers and her boyfriend were arrested on April 1 over the scam, with several other employees at the shop also having been arrested after being implicated.

Counterfeit iPhones are prevalent in China, and Apple has reportedly had only mixed success in receiving cooperation from authorities in cracking down on the issue.

Earlier this month, Apple altered its warranty policies for iPhone 4S and 4 repairs in China following criticism from state-run media, ensuring that replacement devices would be entirely new with a full one-year warranty along with offering clearer support information and additional training for service providers.

Top Rated Comments

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96 months ago
How can that one part be worth $476?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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96 months ago
It bothers me china gets upset with warranties but still has a very hands off and who cares attitude towards counterfeiting.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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96 months ago

How can that one part be worth $476?

Clearly, the only way a part for a phone that retails at $549 could be worth $476 is on the black market, and even that is unlikely. The original report was in error and Mac Rumours just did an exchange rate conversion on the quoted figure (3000 yuan).
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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96 months ago

I didn't know Apple could replace just certain parts of the phone without the entire phone being in tact... Isn't there a serial number or something on those chips? I hardly think any Apple store in the US would just give you a new motherboard if you brought in a supposedly faulty one.


This is a repair shop, so they would have just parts to turn in to Apple.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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96 months ago
lolz why am i not surprised
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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