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?