Fake iPhone sales are becoming a common sight on the streets of New York

Fake iPhones are starting to become a common sight on the streets of New York as criminals look to cash in on the huge demand for the latest Apple device. The problem however is that the iPhones being sold by illegal vendors are probably fake. The latest discovery took place on Ninth Avenue at 39th Street a few weeks back where an NYPD officer approached a vendor who was trying to sell a brand new boxed iPhone 4 for just $150; of course it was a fake.

The iPhone in question looked like a fake with a much inferior build quality, smaller screen and ill fitting buttons. Remarkably the fake iPhone did turn on and run apps. The apps of course were not iOS apps but some horrible copy with blurry screens; certainly not retina quality that’s for sure! NYPD later discovered that the illegal vendor also worked out of a store and promptly acquired a warrant to search the premises.

Officers raided the store on Feb. 9 and found what the police described as among the larger inventories of fake Apple electronics for sale on the East Coast. They said there were 436 iPhones, 21 iPads, 128 iPods — all fake. An official from Apple showed up to verify as much. “If you walked in and said, ‘I want a 32-gigabyte white iPhone,’ they had it,” Sergeant O’Connell said. “The iPad was the size of a Kindle screen.” Some devices turned on, while others appeared to need to be plugged in first. The police said they also found $2,400 in cash, a bunch of security cameras and two people working, Cindy Liu, 25, and Mo Ling, 36, who were arrested.

The fakes are all believed to come from China with some even being assembled from parts stolen from official Apple assembly lines. One thing is for sure, these are not iPhones and not manufactured by Apple. Of course some people actually like the fake devices and are well aware of what they are getting into. For others, it could be a nasty surprise when they open the box expecting a genuine iPhone despite the low cost!

Source: The New York Times

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UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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Reader comments

Fake iPhone sales are becoming a common sight on the streets of New York


If you've ever been to midtown Manhattan, you wouldn't be surprised by vendors selling fake iPhones and people (mainly tourists) buying them.

Fake iPads were sold at my work by a guy and many people bought them for cheap.
I thought it was funny that people were falling for it.
I live in NC and my job employs over 2,000 people on 3 shifts.

The common thing about both the fake and real ones is that theyre all garbage. iPhones and iPads are highly overrated anyways...

If they are fake, and some work, what carrier are they using to have the phone work? Are they unlocked versions, and you would think the carrier would know something on their end.

Seriously, its and interesting story but this headline (and the lead...) have been up for more than 12 hours - no one is going to correct the improper use of the word "site"...

I just don't understand how people get scammed by this kind of stuff.... If you thought a guy on the street would be selling an iPhone for $150 bucks... you blew it.

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