Pair guilty of exchanging fake iPhones in Swiss Apple Stores now sentenced

iPhone 11 Pro
iPhone 11 Pro (Image credit: Joseph Keller / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Two people caught taking fake iPhones into Apple Stores and having them replaced for real ones have been sentenced.
  • The mother and son pair, both Chinese and living in Switzerland, sent the real iPhones to Hong Kong.
  • The son has been sentenced to 40 months in jail while his mother picked up a suspended sentence.

You might remember a story from a week or so ago in which two Chinese nationals had been arrested after they brought more than 1,000 fake iPhones into Switzerland. Those iPhones were then exchanged for real ones under AppleCare+ before being returned to Hong Kong. The pair have now been sentenced.

According to a Securing Industry report, the 34-year-old son has been sentenced to spend 40 months in jail while also being prevented from living in Switzerland for seven years. He's lived there for two decades.

As for his 56-year-old mother, she's gotten off with an 18-month suspended sentence.

The pair had claimed their innocence, saying they'd no idea the iPhones were fake.

The mother and son said in court that they had not known that the iPhones were fakes. They only had the devices repaired in good faith on behalf of a friend from Hong Kong. Chinese people have problems with Apple's service time and again. You would therefore have trusted the contact person. It is the presumption of innocence.

The fake iPhones were given the same IMEI as legitimate handsets that were covered by AppleCare+ and Apple was told they were water damaged. Handsets with water damage aren't routinely checked in-store becuase of the risk of fire.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.