Maryland Police Bust Two Local Businesses For Selling Fake iProducts

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It’s the day before Labor Day Weekend starts in the United States, and news is a little slow this morning. It appears to be slow for the Maryland Police, too. They are claiming that they “busted” two Maryland stores and recovered hundreds of “counterfeit” Apple produces that were being sold as the real thing.

That’s overstating things a tad.

According to a report by Baltimore’s WBALTV, officers raided the Cyberion store and the ST Tech Pros kiosk at the Arundel Mills Malls, recovering an estimated $89,000 worth of phony iProducts.

What kind of phony iProducts, though? Here’s the list. Notice anything?

The items recovered included iPhones and the colored fronts and backings that go with them, cellphone conversion kits, iPhone and iPad covers, Apple product ID stickers, iPad replacement screens and various internal iPhone parts. Detectives also found packaging materials, equipment used to design and print those materials and computer equipment believed to be used to clone phones.

In other words, while it’s technically true that they were selling “counterfeit” iProducts, the business these guys were running was an unlicensed iPhone and iPad repair/modification business. Customers with a broken screen would come to them and get it replaced for cheap, or customers who wanted, say, a colored aftermarket back put on their iPhone 4S could get one installed there. There are a million businesses like this out there, and no one who goes to them actually thinks they’re buying “real” Apple stuff. That’s the whole point: these businesses offer options, products and services Apple won’t.

Look, technically, the police are right: these guys are slapping Apple logos on products not made by Apple. That’s counterfeiting. But it all seems a little bit blown out of proportion, don’t you think?

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  • Gregory Wright

    “counterfeit”, get out of here no way. So, I guess that means that there are people out there who gullible enough for this scam to work,

  • mister_rabbit

    “There are a million businesses like this out there, and no one who goes to them actually thinks they’re buying “real” Apple stuff. ”

    One would think this but it’s far from the truth. In the few years I worked behind the bar at Apple I personally dealt with dozens of people who were outraged that we wouldn’t honor the warranty behind the repair that the “Apple store at the other mall” performed. Mind you, there was only one Apple store in town and two Apple Authorized Service Providers, neither of which were in malls. When people brought up the “Apple store at the other mall” we immediately knew who they were talking about. Sounds like the same type of shop as the place in the article, third party iDevice repairs using cheap replacement parts, colored parts, etc.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think the shop I’m talking about ever tried to pass themselves off as Apple, however the ignorance of the masses prevailed in most cases. The same type of folks that would come in and tell their friends they were at the iStore, Cell phone store, Mac store, iPhone store, etc. As long as it has an Apple logo on it they would think it was from Apple.

  • thegraphicmac

    “…recovered hundreds of “counterfeit” Apple produces…”

    Yeah, Apple is always having their “produces” counterfeited.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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