ICE Starts Raiding Mobile Phone Repair Shops To Stop Repairs With Aftermarket Parts

from the is-this-really-the-best-use-of-taxpayer-money dept

Apparently Homeland Security's Immigration & Custom's Enforcement (ICE) team has found a new tech issue to overreact to and overhype. shutslar points us to a story of ICE agents raiding 25 smartphone repair shops in South Florida for daring to repair phones with aftermarket parts, rather than original products from Apple. As seems standard for ICE these days, rather than actually understanding the details at hand, they're taking orders from a corporate entity, in this case, Apple:
Apple is working with the government to shut down those who mislead consumers.
This seems like a massive overreaction to a mere case of "misleading" consumers. They paint this as if it's some massive danger to make use of an aftermarket/non-Apple parts in doing the repair, but it's not. In many cases, such aftermarket parts are a good way to fix a phone at a more reasonable price. If Apple feels some of the shops are misleading customers, then it can sue for trademark infringement and deal with it that way.

Having over-aggressive, amped up ICE agents pretending this is a drug raid and that they need to "shut down" these shops is a massive overreaction which only serves to help prop up Apple's bottom line by taking aftermarket competitive parts out of the market, so that Apple can keep the margins on its parts extra high. Either way, there's simply no reason for treating the whole thing like a drug raid:
"When they came in it almost looked like a drug raid," Said Abella.

Abella claims there were 20 ICE agents and two people from Apple in his small Bird Road store.

Abella says he began fixing Apple Products because everyone else was.

"We got the parts from a company in California. To this day that vendor is still selling parts," Said Abella.

"Why did the come after me?” he added.
They came after you because you weren't paying the toll to Apple, and Apple doesn't like competition. Why our taxpayer money is being used to support such a massive overreaction, shutting down small businesses who provide a useful service repairing phones, is beyond me. Honestly, ICE's propensity to act as private cops (with guns) doing favors for giant businesses is really sickening. ICE has been out of control for a long time, and shutting down small businesses because Apple doesn't want to compete? That's just crazy.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Akari Mizunashi (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 6:36am

    "Immigration & Custom's Enforcement (ICE)"
    Uh, sorry, but that's not what it stands for.

    Industry & Corporate Enforcement.

    Please make note of this in the future, for accuracy. ;)

     

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    Atkray (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 7:51am

    Wait until the auto makers catch wind of this and want in on the action.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 8:33am

    "Apple is working with the government to shut down those who mislead consumers."

    Well considering Hollywood's still tricking people into seeing shitty movies by making them look awesome or showing all the good parts, they're obviously not doing a good job.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 8:35am

    As if businesses to repair relatively cheap objects like cell phones weren't dead enough already in America. Does ICE and Apple want to make sure that whole industry is 100% dead?

    I mean seriously, with the insurance you can buy with cell phones, and so many cell phone companies offering a free cell phone every so many years, there can't be much of a profit margin fixing ANY cell phones, apple or not. If you get it too expensive people just buy a new one.

    Which of course is part of why companies like Apple make cell phones so cheaply that they break so easily, since they can get away with it with how many people consider cell phones disposable.

     

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      Leigh Beadon (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 8:44am

      Re:

      I don't think we should look at it from the point of view of "protecting" repair businesses and their profits -- that's no better than the source of the problem here, which is the government protecting Apple and other phone manufacturers.

      If phone companies can make repair shops obsolete by offering cheap phones and lots of free replacement deals, then that's just them winning in the marketplace, and we should accept it. However, if they need the help of ICE to go in and shut down the repair shops as is apparently the case, that's not a fair market victory.

      Approaching it from a perspective of fairness and competition is the best way. Otherwise, before you know it, it's the repair shops using ICE as a private police force to shut down the competition.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:16am

      Re:

      So you're arguing that when someone's iDevice breaks they should just buy a new one from Apple. Surely you see now why Apple and the other mobile phone makers are trying to kill the repair business.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2013 @ 3:51am

        Re: Re:

        no, he's arguing that pricing new phones cheaply enough it is more economical to replace them is a legitimate business decision.

         

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      nasch (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 5:20pm

      Re:

      Does ICE and Apple want to make sure that whole industry is 100% dead?

      Is that a trick question? Of course Apple wants the repair industry dead. That way the only alternative is to buy a new one.

       

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      kitsune361, May 1st, 2013 @ 3:23pm

      Re:

      Except iPhones aren't really all that affordable. Which is why it's one of the few solid markets for such repair work.

      They aren't particularly cheap either. I've seen iPhones and iPads keep trucking with cracked screens that put lesser phones and tablets out of commission.

      (for the record, I am an iPad user; I am likely to never own an iPhone; The hardware is solid, but I still think they both suck.)

       

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    Titania Bonham-Smythe (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 8:39am

    I recently had the cracked screen on my iPad replaced in a local repair shop. This is in England, and cost me GB£80. If I had got Apple to fix it the cost would have been a billion times that. I knew it wasn't a genuine Apple screen, and the glue they used to stick it all back together hasn't proved to be anything like that used by Apple, but it was very much a deliberate act on my part to not engage Apple and their stupendous pricing in getting my device repaired.

     

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      Maria, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 9:24am

      Response to: Titania Bonham-Smythe on Apr 30th, 2013 @ 8:39am

      I took my Apple I pod touch to fix a cracked screen to mobility and beyond and now they have distroyed my I pod battery doesnt work with the camera . This place does not the customer but rather take advantage by misleading the customer
      The parts are not apple and will never last and if I take it to apple to fix it they wont because of the fake screen
      The repair shop is saying there was damage before
      But there was not .
      Now what do I do

       

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 8:45am

    "Apple is working with the government to shut down those who mislead consumers."

    Does that include Apple?

     

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      Jay (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 10:45am

      Re:

      Here's my problem with Apple.

      They have taken manufacturing jobs overseas hurting American workers along with American productivity. They've charged the same prices for phones as anyone else. They tend to their flowered gardens of apps, hurting software developers. They work with the government to make sure that they keep cheap prices on overseas labor (Foxconn). Yet, the government isn't investigating them? Their monopolies?

      Seriously?

      Why do we just look the other way when the government isn't noticing the main problem?

       

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 8:56am

    Replacing parts = "sue for trademark infringement"???

    "If Apple feels some of the shops are misleading customers, then it can sue for trademark infringement and deal with it that way. "

    First, that's just wrong if it's physical parts, EVEN IF had imitation logo.

    2nd, Apple is a third party to the misleading, where's its standing?

    3rd, why is Mike advising a mis-use of trademark in this case?

    And as usual, Mike is just bewildered by fascism. -- Seriously, why follow a guy who says this "is beyond me"? Where exactly do you expect do you expect to end up when your supposed leader admits inability?


    Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up same place!
    http://techdirt.com/
    Even if Mike is absolutely right about problems, he has no solutions to even suggest.
    04:56:05[f-137-5]

     

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      out_of_the_blue, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 8:58am

      Re: Replacing parts = "sue for trademark infringement"???

      ^^^ "do you expect do you expect" -- Oy! Am I getting repetitious repetitious!

       

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        Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 10:57am

        Re: Re: Replacing parts = "sue for trademark infringement"???

        Oy! Am I getting repetitious repetitious!

        Par for the course, blue...all your blathering is repetitious..day in...day out.

         

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      Leigh Beadon (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:03am

      Re: Replacing parts = "sue for trademark infringement"???

      WHAT?

      First, that's just wrong if it's physical parts, EVEN IF had imitation logo.

      Er, actually, if the parts were being passed off as official Apple parts when they weren't, it would indeed be trademark infringement (EVEN IF they didn't have an imitation logo)

      How do you think trademark works exactly?

      2nd, Apple is a third party to the misleading, where's its standing?

      Um, it's standing is as the trademark holder... Again, how do you think trademark works exactly?

      3rd, why is Mike advising a mis-use of trademark in this case?

      How would that be trademark mis-use? Trademarks as a way of preventing customer confusion and stopping companies from misleading consumers is a good thing. That's what it's for. So, as the post said, if Apple genuinely thinks customers are being misled into buying aftermarket parts while thinking they are official Apple parts, trademark is the correct way to address that -- it wouldn't shut down repair shops, merely force them to make it clear that they use third-party parts. Of course, it doesn't seem likely that Apple does genuinely believe that, which is why they aren't using trademark here, and instead just using it as an excuse to try to shut down the shops altogether.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:24am

      Re: Replacing parts = "sue for trademark infringement"???

      ""Seriously, why follow a guy who says this "is beyond me"?""

      And for this same exact reason is why people don't follow a guy like you who posts rambling "beyond me" comments to practically every article on techdirt.

      Seriously you should take your own loopy tour of yourself!

       

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    jackn, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:05am

    I usually against this kindof thing, but In this case, I say game on. It is good that apple is the leading the way in exposing this practice to the masses. I think they are losing customers because of these actions, and a world without apple would be a better place. Actually, I am all for apple having their own branch of government to enforce their will (on their phones). With this approach, we could have them dissappear sooner than later.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:19am

      Re:

      I think you're a little confused about how consolidation of power works. Once they have it, it's not going away, and neither are they.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:11am

    so yet again, you dont own something in the USA when you buy it, it's only on permanent rental? what right has Apple got to tell people who to take their broken phone to when it needs repairing? as long as the repairer states that they are not genuine Apple parts, there should be no problems, let alone this massive, but typical, over reaction! it cant be any different to using non-manufacturing parts in car repairs. it makes me think that there is more to this. perhaps once non Apple parts are used in a phone, it stops being trackable by law enforcement agencies?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:11am

    How is this guy any different then the guy selling counterfeit NFL jerseys out of the back of his car or at a flea market?

     

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      beech, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:21am

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:11am

      Because they don't send SWAT teams and black helicopters to the back of a car or flea markets....

       

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        atif, Jan 5th, 2014 @ 12:18am

        Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:11am

        Seems a little much that the government is getting involved in something surrounding genuine/not-genuine cell phone parts. My assumption is that they feel these are being described as actual apple parts, when they're in fact 3rd party replacement parts. This is NOT illegal to sell 3rd party parts as being from a 3rd party.. Apple's big pockets are attempting to manipulate a market.

        Regards,
        atif,
        http://batbooti.com/

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:27am

      Re:

      It's more like shutting down the guy who sells green colored thread that you can use to stitch up the hole in your Packers jacket. It's not a violation unless the consumer is fooled into thinking that this is official NFL greed thread.

      Really, the car analogy works best. It's like a repair shop that uses parts that aren't approved by Ford. So long as they do not tell the consumer that these are genuine Ford parts (thus misleading them), where's the crime?

       

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        Chris Rhodes (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:44am

        Re: Re:

        "official NFL greed thread"
        Perfect typo. Just perfect.

         

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        John Fenderson (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 12:55pm

        Re: Re:

        So long as they do not tell the consumer that these are genuine Ford parts (thus misleading them), where's the crime?


        According to the article, this was exactly the sort of misrepresentation that the shops were engaging in. My guess is, not entirely knowingly. The may have themselves been fooled by their parts suppliers.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2013 @ 3:57am

        Re: Re:

        As long as the customer knows they are aftermarket parts, then fine. but with cars, they really should tell the customer, since in some situations use of aftermarket parts can lower the car's value.

         

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      weneedhelp (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 10:21am

      Re:

      It is no different than shutting down local auto shops for repairing cars with non-oem equipment. Chevy does not endorse some Asian company making alternators and selling them via NAPA, or Pep-Boys, but it is not illegal in any way shape or form... Yet.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 10:29am

        Re: Re:

        I believe the issue is that Apple has patents on the various unique components, not just the phone itself. Those parts are a bit different than a bumper for a Chevy.

         

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          Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 11:56am

          Re: Re: Re:

          patents on the various unique components, not just the phone itself. Those parts are a bit different than a bumper for a Chevy.

          That's absurd. Even if Apple thought the repair shop was violating their ridiculously overbroad patents, it is still a civil offense that should be handled by the courts - not with a SWAT team provided by ICE and the federal government.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 12:06pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "patents on the various unique components, not just the phone itself. Those parts are a bit different than a bumper for a Chevy."

            That's absurd. Even if Apple thought the repair shop was violating their ridiculously overbroad patents, it is still a civil offense that should be handled by the courts - not with a SWAT team provided by ICE and the federal government.

            Why? The losers selling bootleg dvd's, phony Viagra and counterfeit NFL jerseys get locked up, raided, arrested, etc. all of the time. It's the same set of laws and it is a criminal infraction. Keep trying to wish it away though, I think you might actually even be able to convince yourself.

             

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              Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 12:18pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The losers selling bootleg dvd's, phony Viagra and counterfeit NFL jerseys get locked up, raided, arrested, etc. all of the time.

              Those are equally absurd.

              It's the same set of laws and it is a criminal infraction.

              So you're claiming that bootleg DVDs (copyright violation), phone Viagra (trademark violation), counterfeit NFL jerseys (again, trademark violation), and aftermarket Apple parts (patent violation) are all violations of the same laws? I don't suppose you could specify which ones?

               

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                Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 12:48pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Just so I'm clear on the absurd bit, there may be some legitimate cases over counterfeit products, but certainly to to the extent as is portrayed, and I can think of no reason why someone selling bootleg DVDs or unofficial NFL jerseys should be arrested and locked up.

                If a pharma company or the FDA wants to sue someone trying to pass off counterfeit drugs (actual counterfeit - not gray market imports that are legit), I'm fine with it - but the SWAT tactics and seizures prior to an adversarial hearing are insane and I believe a violation of due process. If the NFL wants to go after someone for trademark violations making unofficial jerseys and show both damages and that people were deceived into thinking they were official, fine, but again locking people up over that is crazy, you don't need armed SWAT, and seizures prior to adversarial hearings should be against everything we stand for.

                The wider issue we need to consider is why those operations exist in the first place. And it comes down to the monopoly holders not serving their customers, potential customers, or overall society by providing convenience, reasonable pricing, and quality service. All the gung-ho SWAT raids and seizures for anything that is not at risk of evidence destruction are only treating symptoms of the real problem and will not solve a damn thing.

                And that's why all of the examples given are absurd.

                 

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:45pm

        Re: Re:

        approved OEM parts have been tested and approved as 'fit for use', that means if that parts fails you have some recourse for damages (or death).

        But a counterfeit part is a different matter, if you get new break pads on your car and they are counterfeit, and do not perform as expected (they are sub-standard), and you cant stop and you are killed. That is a problem.

        Genuine parts are supplied with a responsibility, that means if they fail, you have someone who will compensate you, and who is working to ensure you car does not fail because of parts that do not do their job.

        Genuine OEM parts are APPROVED and have met the required standards of performance, and function to be allowed for use.

        Counterfeit parts are built cheaply, do not meet any minimum standard and are not tested to ensure they comply with the law and with the required specifications that the original correct part requires.

        The components on phones if sub-standard can cause excess current to be drawn from the battery, possibly resulting in a fire or explosion.

        If they are sub-standard, they make produce spurious emissions, with could (and probably will) result in network degradation for EVERYONE and interference to other services.

        Watching one of those "aircraft crash investigation" programs, where the mounting bolts holding the jet engine was found to be counterfeit, it failed, the aircraft engine fell off, and the plane crashed (why it was on the TV Doco).

        The investigation showed that counterfeit aircraft parts was a massive 'industry' and so pervasive that even counterfeit components were found in the most secure aircraft in the world.. Air Force One.

        The engine mounting bolts came with all the correct (forged) certification, but when tested had no where near the required tensile strength, (they were cheap to make, expensive to sell).

        But consumer (air line industry) paid THE FULL PRICE as if it was a genuine part, ($400 or $500 dollars for 1 bolt).

        The part was probably made for $10 or less, was not tested, passed no quality control.

        The consumer does not win because they got a counterfeit part, the consumer in this case believes they are getting genuine parts, and are not aware that someone is making lots of money and conning you.

        In the case of aircraft part, (same with apple) in engines fall of Boeing aircraft, people will think that Boeing is doing something bad, or they just suck, their reputation suffers, they sell less planes and they easily could go out of business.

        But that is even if it is not Boeing's fault, if a counterfeit component led to the engine falling off, Boeing suffers (as does apple with phones) because "Boeing aircraft" don't make good planes because engines sometimes fall off.

        Now lets say you work at a factory that products 737 engine mounting bolts, you spend your day testing and in quality control, ensuring the component you produce meets certain specifications, you are fully aware that if the bolt you make fails, many people could be killed, you have a job and you are paid well.

        So then the market for aircraft mounting bolts is flooded with counterfeit parts, airlines start to purchase them (because they look real, but are cheaper).

        You boss tells you "we are not selling enough bolts, Sorry you have to go" you are out of work.

        But hey, at least the airline industry are getting cheap parts, even if that means you have no job and people might well be killed because the company now producing those bolts do not bother with testing or quality control.

        So you lose your job, and sub-standard parts made in another country are used in aircraft that you might be flying in..

        is that ok with you ??

         

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      Gwiz (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 2:15pm

      Re:

      How is this guy any different then the guy selling counterfeit NFL jerseys out of the back of his car or at a flea market?


      That's an incorrect analogy. It'd be more like the guy at the flea market busted for sewing up the rips in your NFL jersey with thread that wasn't bought from the NFL. Capice?

      And I don't believe the shops were trying to pass off the parts as official "Apple" parts at all. At least, that's what I got from Mike saying this:
      If Apple feels some of the shops are misleading customers, then it can sue for trademark infringement and deal with it that way.

       

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        Gwiz (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 2:23pm

        Re: Re:

        Sorry. My bad. Should have kept reading this thread before responding. My entire comment was already covered above.

        Oh crap. Did I just violate someone's IP rights by inadvertently coming up with the same analogy independently? Oh, well. Sue away. Like they say: you can't get blood from a turnip.

         

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      RyanNerd (profile), May 2nd, 2013 @ 9:43am

      Re:

      Shhhhhhh!!!!!
      Do you want ICE raiding the flea markets I attend every weekend???!!!

      Sheeesh....

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2013 @ 11:21am

      Re:

      Need we remind you that Counterfeit and Aftermarket are two very different things?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:13am

    Blatant antitrust violation

    Unless I'm mistaken, Apple does not and WILL NOT allow third party repair shops to use their parts. This crackdown is to put an end to the shops that got around Apple's attempts to kill them by using third party parts. The irony of using the ICE to enforce an illegal monopoly bid as always is entirely lost on the DHS.

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:32am

      Re: Blatant antitrust violation

      This issue apparently more fine than that -- that the parts were counterfeit (had the Apple logo on them when Apple didn't make them). Presumably if the Apple logo were missing, the raids wouldn't have happened as there would be no trademark issue.

      That said, a SWAT raid over this is completely insane. As is ICE's bogus excuse that it is a public safety issue. This is an abuse of power, pure and simple.

       

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        PaulT (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 10:17am

        Re: Re: Blatant antitrust violation

        "public safety issue"

        I wonder what the effect on public safety actually was with these parts - as opposed to, say, 20 armed men breaking down a shop's door over a few grand worth of merchandise...

         

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      Ruben, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:37am

      Re: Blatant antitrust violation

      The irony of using the ICE to enforce an illegal monopoly bid as always is entirely lost on the DHS.

      Of course, because that would require them to exhibit intellect greater than that of a potato.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 11:56am

      Re: Blatant antitrust violation

      it isn't up to Apple who repairs a phone. it is up to who owns it to take it where he/she wants. once the warranty has expired, anyone can repair it. all Apple could do is refuse to do any repair after the warranty period if there are non-genuine parts inside (or more likely, try to charge an amount almost as high as a new phone!)

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:16am

    The road downhill for Apple continues...

    Who will be the next company to stop "innovating" (big word for Apple...) and start suing/seizing? M$, we're all looking at you.

     

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    AC, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:18am

    Ritual IANAL.

    I'm hoping someone who knows a lot more about the law can answer two questions.

    1) If the parts are from California and the repair shop is in Florida, what crossed a US border? How is this a concern for Immigration and Customs? What law is being broken? Trademark infringement is a civil, not criminal, offense.

    2) I have to assume a search warrant was issued for ICE to even be able to enter the shop. Is it really proper for a warrant to allow non-LEO personnel to take part? I don't understand what the Apple reps were doing there.

     

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    beech, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:19am

    wake up!

    You may think it was an overreaction, but this makes perfect sense. The shops were repairing PHONES. remembed last week we learned that you can make your phone a gun? Clearly ICE was worried about all the potential phone/guns these shops may or may not have had. These scumbag "repair/gun running" shops should count themselves lucky that it wasn't ATF that kicked their door in.

     

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      silverscarcat (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:26am

      Re: wake up!

      The ATF doesn't have enough members, nor a Director, to worry about the psychotic mutterings of bad cops and Apple.

       

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        varagix, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:36am

        Re: Re: wake up!

        The ATF doesn't have enough members to even handle the paperwork their current duties require, let alone anything else.

         

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          silverscarcat (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 10:10am

          Re: Re: Re: wake up!

          That too.

          heck, didn't they used to have like 5 times as many agents when Reagan was in office than they do today?

           

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            varagix, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 10:39am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: wake up!

            I imagine heading a number of botched jobs, including an operation that results in a 50 day stand off and gets 70 people, including 20 children, burned alive, would get your staff and funding cut pretty heavily.

             

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:20am

    Why ICE?

    "We got the parts from a company in California"

    "ICE agents"

    Excuse me, but why is ICE even looking at this if the parts are from California? There are no customs due when shipping from one state to another. In fact, Article 1 Section 9 of the Constitution forbids it: "No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State." So tell me why, exactly, ICE is even here?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:49am

    From the article:

    '"Unless they are getting it from an Apple authorized manufacturer, they are most likely getting substandard parts which are counterfeit and illegal to possess," Said Agent O'Neill'

    Wait. Illegal to POSSESS? Are these phones infused with cocaine or plutonium or something?

    "Abel Abella's says his store was raided by agents who seized $5000 worth of parts."

    20 agents for $5000 worth of parts? Overkill much?

    Oh, and for my previous question of why this department is involved, I found the answer:

    "O'Neill says it's a public safety issue and that is how Homeland Security is involved.

    He says consumers have be hurt by overheating phones that were repaired using counterfeit parts."

    Seriously? Homeland Security is now involved in protecting us from overheating phones?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 10:29am

      Re:

      I would like to see that over heating statistic of theirs. I have repaired my phone and several other phones with aftermarket parts and none of them have had a problem overheating or otherwise.

       

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      Mr. Applegate, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 11:22am

      Re:

      Seriously? Homeland Security is now involved in protecting us from overheating phones?
      Well, overheating phones are a problem, but they still let Apple sell phones that catch fire!

      OK, so there are only a couple of documented cases, but one of them was on a plane so Apple is a terrorist organization!

      See I can play too.

       

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      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 12:11pm

      Re:

      consumers have be hurt by overheating phones that were repaired using counterfeit parts

      Funny, I've heard more stories about Apple products overheating straight out of the box from Apple than those which have been repaired using non-Apple parts.

      Google suggest "macbook o" first result is macbook overheating.
      Google suggest "iphone o" eighth result is overheating, and first result from "iphone ov".

      If Homeland Security is in charge of protecting us from overheating phones, they're doing about as good a job as the TSA in ensuring that airplanes arrive on schedule.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 4:17pm

      Re:

      Wouldn't these resources be better spent making sure factories like the one at West, Texas are telling the truth about what they are storing?

      Homeland Security was supposed to have oversight over that storage but they didn't even know it was there. I'd say they've got more important matters on their plate than over heating phones, or shutting down web sites.

      Priorities...

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 10:28am

    Another reason I don't use crApple.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 10:28am

    ICE seems more and more like the private police of corporations.

    Want a competitor shut down? No problem, ICE is here for you!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 10:39am

    why not say the word ???? COUNTERFEIT

    That's right, they are not 'aftermarket' parts, they are COUNTERFEIT parts.

    Massive difference, if you go to a car yard and you see a car with FORD written on it, you have an expectation that the car was made by for FORD car making place.

    If you get the car home and find that even though it says it's a FORD it was in fact make by pygmies in Borneo you might think you have been ripped off, after all you payed for a FORD, made by FORD.

    Counterfeit integrated circuits are the ones that are marked as failed during production testing, factory seconds if you like. They are not fit for purpose and do not meet the required technical specifications.

    They simply do not work as well as they should, I bet these repair shops that get these cheap parts to NOT pass that saving onto the customer, they pocket it. The customer would be paying the full retail price for a fully spec'd and QC (quality control) passed.

    It after these products are "fixed" with these ILLEGAL and faulty parts, and they do not perform to expectation the customer will blame Apple for the problems.

    Again, this is damaging to a companies reputation, and it is for that reason counterfeit parts are illegal and correct action be taken.

    There was a big market in counterfeit aircraft parts leading to some major air crashes and loss of life.

    So it is NOT ok to use counterfeit parts or to misrepresent what you are doing, or selling.

    now if there were 25 repair shops and they seized between $250,000 and $300,000 worth of counterfeit parts that averages around $10,000 dollars per shop (or more), these are NOT small repair shops in that case.

    And who on earth has phones repaired these days anyway ???

    if you have $10,000 dollars worth of illegal parts in your 'repair' shop, then you are not really in the business of repair. No repair shop would stock $10,000 worth of components just to repair one brand of phone !!.

     

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      Mr. Applegate, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 11:53am

      Re: why not say the word ???? COUNTERFEIT

      Well assuming that the parts were indeed counterfeit, rather than simply aftermarket, then the repair shop was very likely duped as well. The difference being is it boxed and labeled as an Apple Part or not. If it isn't boxed and labeled as being genuine apple part (or marketed falsely as such by the repair shop) then it is aftermarket.

      However, If I offer to repair your iPhone and don't say 'with genuine apple parts' then I may use after market parts if I wish.
      If you get the car home and find that even though it says it's a FORD it was in fact make by pygmies in Borneo you might think you have been ripped off, after all you payed for a FORD, made by FORD.
      Oh and that FORD you were talking about, better hope it had never been to a repair shop. Cars are most often repaired with aftermarket parts (even from some stealers, er um dealers). Insurance companies mandate the use of aftermarket parts in order to save money.
      Counterfeit integrated circuits are the ones that are marked as failed during production testing, factory seconds if you like. They are not fit for purpose and do not meet the required technical specifications.
      That may or may not be true, many of the parts come from production overruns as well. Such as when Apple slashed its iphone orders in half at the first of the year. The manufacturer will sell the parts to a third party rather than idle a production facility for days, or weeks.
      There was a big market in counterfeit aircraft parts leading to some major air crashes and loss of life.
      Of course everyone is well aware that an airplane is equivalent to an iPhone, so the same level of scrutiny needs to be paid to both. Or you know, maybe not.

      A $200 phone is not the same as a $2,000,000 plane and the phone doesn't pose the same risk to the public as the plane either.

      if you have $10,000 dollars worth of illegal parts in your 'repair' shop, then you are not really in the business of repair. No repair shop would stock $10,000 worth of components just to repair one brand of phone !!.
      Let's see many of these repair shops may repair a hundred phones or more a day. At say $75 per repair, $50 in parts. 100 x $50 = $5,000 in parts (or a two day supply of parts). No repair shop would ever have enough parts to run for a week... well maybe they might do that too huh.

      I have repaired many phones for friends, if you have the right parts on hand and have done it before it takes less than 10 minutes, so 20 phones an hour is not out of the question.

       

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      Ninja (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 11:54am

      Re: why not say the word ???? COUNTERFEIT

      That's right, they are not 'aftermarket' parts, they are COUNTERFEIT parts.

      Do you have any evidence? There are tons of second-hand parts for official stuff, cars included that are perfectly legit. I often use those in my car as the price can be 1/10th of the original while maintaining most of the quality. If in fact they were selling those stuff as original parts from Apple then it's another story but nowhere I've seen it mentioned.

      Counterfeit integrated circuits are the ones that are marked as failed during production testing, factory seconds if you like. They are not fit for purpose and do not meet the required technical specifications.

      No, counterfeit are precisely made to look like the original stuff but with less quality. Second hand parts are just not produced by the original manufacturer but can vary in a rather wide range of quality from just as good to downright garbage. And if I go for second hand parts I know what to expect. And I probably also know where to find better quality stuff.

      It after these products are "fixed" with these ILLEGAL and faulty parts, and they do not perform to expectation the customer will blame Apple for the problems.

      Only if they are sold as if they were the original. I don't blame GM for problems I have due to second hand parts. Because I know what I'm buying. And nowhere it's made clear those shops were really selling as if they were original stuff.

      There was a big market in counterfeit aircraft parts leading to some major air crashes and loss of life.

      Citation needed. But fortunately for you I read about it. And again it's not the same thing. Even if there was 100% certainty these shops were selling counterfeit parts.

      these are NOT small repair shops in that case

      Do you have any data to support your claims? Do you have a repair shop? Incidentally last time I tried to replace the GLASS COVER of my tablet the original piece would cost over $80. That's the GLASS alone. Considering the variety of cell phones and gadgets available $10k seems a pretty low value, eh?

      And who on earth has phones repaired these days anyway ???

      I did with an older model I liked recently. Just because you don't save money it does not mean others are an irresponsible spender like you. Also there's a good environmental aspect to this as you prevent unnecessary e-garbage generation.

      if you have $10,000 dollars worth of illegal parts in your 'repair' shop, then you are not really in the business of repair. No repair shop would stock $10,000 worth of components just to repair one brand of phone !!.

      See above. You are the only one assuming they were specialized on Apple products. And even so once you sum up all the small costs and a stock you have to keep this number suddenly gets very small. Must I remind you that $10k are about 25 iPhones worth? TWENTY-FIVE (at $400 per unit). The number doesn't sound so big now does it?

       

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        John Fenderson (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 1:01pm

        Re: Re: why not say the word ???? COUNTERFEIT

        Do you have any evidence?


        The news article linked to in the story says outright that these were counterfeit parts, stamped with the Apple logo but not made by Apple.

         

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          AzureSky (profile), May 1st, 2013 @ 11:37am

          Re: Re: Re: why not say the word ???? COUNTERFEIT

          a little note: apple dosnt actually make anything, they have foxconn make most of their stuff.

          as to apples claim the parts where counterfeit, i wouldnt take that as fact, they once told me that a screen I had replased in an iphone for somebody was counterfeit....i had pulled it out of an iphone thats battery had bulged and stopped holding a charge....mind it was an iphone that had never been opened till i swapped its screen with a cracked one..

          in the end the apple store guy did some magic and got both phones replaced for the people I had done the work for...despite apple taking no responcibility for the failure of the battery(he made up another excuse it failed that apple would accept)

          it still cost them, and you should enjoy this, 235usd to get the 2 phones replaced...

          the one whos screen had broken was dropped 6 inches onto a kitchen table and the screen just shattered.....

          apple consider anything you do yourself or thats not done in their own shops to be counterfeit, even my repairing/upgrading of apple systems is considered counterfeit because I never use apple branded ram(because its 2-6x the price)

          this is the company caught shipping referb hdd's in new imac's and mini's not to long ago selling the units as new....

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:08pm

        Re: Re: why not say the word ???? COUNTERFEIT

        There was a big market in counterfeit aircraft parts leading to some major air crashes and loss of life.

        Citation needed. But fortunately for you I read about it. And again it's not the same thing. Even if there was 100% certainty these shops were selling counterfeit parts.



        "A United States Senate investigation in 2011 found about 1,800 incidents of counterfeit electronic parts being sold to the U.S. military. The incidents involved over 1 million counterfeit parts.70 percent of the counterfeit items were traced back to China.

        The counterfeit parts were used on aircraft like the Air Force’s C-17 transport airplane and the CH-46 helicopter, as well as weapons systems such as the Army’s Theater High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system.
        "
        http://www.havocscope.com/tag/counterfeit-aircraft-parts/

        "Huge numbers of counterfeit Chinese electronics have entered the global aerospace supply chain with over one million believed to have be in use on US military aircraft."

        "The automotive, electrical, military and aerospace industries have faced a huge increase in counterfeiting and have been waging a long battle against counterfeited products. In the electrical, military and aerospace industries the impact of counterfeiting goes far beyond intellectual property protection or trademark infringement.
        "

        "There is a long history of counterfeit airline parts which are unapproved and substandard being sold to unsuspecting airline companies. The US have discovered a lot of fake products showing up in their navy and airforce aircraft. Going back to the 1970s the Federal Aviation Administration found counterfeit systems in Boeing 737 aircraft."

        "The semiconductor industry is also at war with counterfeiters producing dangerous counterfeit parts and components. Many semiconductor counterfeits emanate from China. The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and the National Electronic Distributors Association (NEDA) are both aware of the need to prevent substandard and counterfeit components from infiltrating aerospace and military applications. An SIA Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force (ACTF) was set up in 2006 to establish a program to reduce the incidence of semiconductor product counterfeiting."

         

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      John Fenderson (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 1:03pm

      Re: why not say the word ???? COUNTERFEIT

      And who on earth has phones repaired these days anyway ???


      When the day comes, I will probably have mine repaired. I love it, but by the time it breaks, it might no longer be possible to buy an Android phone without having some of my money going to Microsoft. If that's the case, I'll fix my old one instead. Or, if I can't, then I'll just go back to an old-fashioned dumb phone.

       

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        Mr. Applegate, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 1:45pm

        Re: Re: why not say the word ???? COUNTERFEIT

        I saw that they said they were counterfeit in the article, however when I read: "
        "Unless they are getting it from an Apple authorized manufacturer, they are most likely getting substandard parts which are counterfeit and illegal to possess," Said Agent O'Neill"
        and this simply is not a true and correct statement. Therefore, I am not certain the accusation of counterfeit is true either.

        Oh and I love the 'most likely' part. So we don't know, we are just guessing, but we are going to take it all because apple says so.

        They may be getting substandard parts. Nothing illegal about sub standard or aftermarket parts (assuming that they don't violate a patent).

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:52pm

          Re: Re: Re: why not say the word ???? COUNTERFEIT

          "Unless they are getting it from an Apple authorized manufacturer"

          that makes them counterfeit by DEFINITION...

           

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            Mr. Applegate, May 1st, 2013 @ 3:26am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: why not say the word ???? COUNTERFEIT

            "that makes them counterfeit by DEFINITION..."


            English: 101

            af·ter·mar·ket noun \-ˌmär-kət\

            Definition of AFTERMARKET
            1: the market for parts and accessories used in the repair or enhancement of a product (as an automobile)

            2: a secondary market available after sales in the original market are finished


            Definition of COUNTERFEIT
            1: made in imitation of something else with intent to deceive : forged


            The key phrase in counterfeit is "with intent to deceive".

            If there was no intent to deceive then it is simply an aftermarket part much like the alternator you get from Autozone for your car. Unless Autozone (or their supplier) markets the alternator as a genuine part. The part is not counterfeit, it is simply after market.

            So unless ICE intends to re-define counterfeit and shut down after market manufactures and re-sellers of auto parts (both mechanical and body) and other such parts for washers, dryers, stoves, grills, and virtually every other product out there, just because a thing is made to work in a product (i.e. a screen for an iPhone) they are just after market UNLESS they were marketed as original Apple parts (i.e. with intent to deceive).

            To date I have seen no evidence in this case that shows the parts were counterfeit rather than aftermarket.

            If it is labeled "screen for iPhone 5" that is aftermarket if it is labeled "Genuine Apple iPhone 5 Screen" and it is not manufactured with the blessing of Apple then it is counterfeit.

            If they were counterfeit one would expect Apple, er um ICE to go after the supplier or manufacturer rather than the re-seller (who is not normally the counterfeiter).

             

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            John Fenderson (profile), May 1st, 2013 @ 9:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: why not say the word ???? COUNTERFEIT

            that makes them counterfeit by DEFINITION...


            Umm, no, it does not.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 9:14pm

        Re: Re: why not say the word ???? COUNTERFEIT

        modern electroncs like phones and other 'cheap' consumer items, are not designed or built to be repaired. Except for minor changes like a new battery or possibly a display, but the main PCB and the surface mount components are a 'board replacement' level item. Or simply 'throw away'

        So I assume these shops were not 'repairing' these phones they were just replacing the entire thing with a counterfeit unit.

        So they are more just sellers of counterfeit products, under the name of 'repair'.

         

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          Leigh Beadon (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 10:15pm

          Re: Re: Re: why not say the word ???? COUNTERFEIT

          Except for minor changes like a new battery or possibly a display

          e.g. the two most common things to break / wear out on phones, easily common enough to form the basis of a healthy parts & repair market

           

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            Andrew D. Todd, May 1st, 2013 @ 12:55am

            Changing Batteries Should Not Be a Repair.

            In a sensibly designed piece of electronics, battery exchange does not count as a repair. You push a panel aside to reveal a battery compartment, a spring kicks two AA cells out, and you push in two new ones, and shut the panel again. You know, the same as a flashlight. Is that so complicated?

             

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              Mr. Applegate, May 1st, 2013 @ 3:40am

              Re: Changing Batteries Should Not Be a Repair.

              That would be true but many manufactures try to make the batteries a none replaceable item both by sealing the case in adhesive (i.e. no door) and by soldering the battery to the PCB. This is in an effort to make the phone a throw away item.

               

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              AzureSky (profile), May 1st, 2013 @ 11:24am

              Re: Changing Batteries Should Not Be a Repair.

              have you never seen an iphone?

              if not google it and see, theres no door, you have to take the whole thing apart with special tools to replace the battery....apple charge a mint do to it(seen people pay over 100bucks to get a batter replaced by apple)

               

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          Mr. Applegate, May 1st, 2013 @ 3:37am

          Re: Re: Re: why not say the word ???? COUNTERFEIT

          "So I assume these shops were not 'repairing' these phones they were just replacing the entire thing with a counterfeit unit. "
          Your assumption would be wrong. An iphone can be disassembled and screen / battery replaced in 5 - 10 minutes (probably 85%+ of repairs). Since the replacement (done by a repair shop) is typically about 20% or less of the cost of a replacement device there is a huge market for this.

          It is true that a PCB is normally a throw away item, but even that could easily come from another discarded phone (ie a genuine Apple part (though used rather than new). Why do you think there is a market for damaged phones on places like gazelle.com? These repair shop buy them by the hundreds to get the parts to repair other phones. The purchased damaged phones are used to replace buttons, frames, PCBs and that is in addition to aftermarket batteries, screens, and backs.

          Oh and a good electronics tech with the right equipment and some knowledge can repair even phone PCBs with some level of success. Often a good cleaning and reflow will get the PCB working again.

           

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          John Fenderson (profile), May 1st, 2013 @ 11:31am

          Re: Re: Re: why not say the word ???? COUNTERFEIT

          but the main PCB and the surface mount components are a 'board replacement' level item


          However, it can be repaired. I once did some work for a company who did just that (not on phones, but circuit boards of the same type and complexity). They had a room full of people with tiny soldering irons and huge, well-lit magnifying glasses. They did a brisk business.

           

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          steell (profile), May 15th, 2013 @ 10:22am

          Re: Re: Re: why not say the word ???? COUNTERFEIT

          Check your assumptions at the door, as they are totally wrong. As a hobbyist, even I can do board level SMT repair at home, so a repair shop should have no problem. And you think they're handing out counterfeit iPhones instead of doing repairs? That's silly as they'd obviously make a ton more money by selling the counterfeit phones, if there were such a thing.

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 10:00pm

        Re: Re: why not say the word ???? COUNTERFEIT

        "
        When the day comes, I will probably have mine repaired."

        no you wont, when the day comes you will probably at minimum get a replace complete and populated circuit board.

        There is virtually NO component level repairs that can be done of modern phones or most modern electronics. Unless you are highly skilled and in possession of a very expensive SMD rework station.

        these components could very well be made in the exact same fabrication plant as the genuine parts, but during the IC testing stage these are the component REJECTS, they have not come up to specifications, they are not 'fit for use' and are generally destroyed and made into more IC's.

        But if those companies sell those failed components to someone else, they end up on the counterfeit market, they are not going to perform to standard.

        That might mean you phone just does not work quite as well, or it might mean it blows up in your pocket, or produces so much radio noise it degrades the entire network (or your local network), or it might just lack some necessary security feature that makes it very easy to break into your phone.

         

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          John Fenderson (profile), May 1st, 2013 @ 11:34am

          Re: Re: Re: why not say the word ???? COUNTERFEIT

          Since the odds are overwhelming that what will break isn't the PCB or IC components, but the screen, I probably will get it fixed.

          There is virtually NO component level repairs that can be done of modern phones or most modern electronics. Unless you are highly skilled and in possession of a very expensive SMD rework station.


          Or unless I hire a company that does these sorts of repairs. I know of two I can drive to.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 7:42pm

      Re: why not say the word ???? COUNTERFEIT

      Who on earth has solar panels engineered these days anyway, jackass?

       

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      Brian, May 4th, 2013 @ 9:25pm

      Re: why not say the word ???? COUNTERFEIT

      You obviously haven't broken your phone but once you do, you will see just how expensive it is to repair. If you don't have insurance( which a lot of people don't) it can cost anywhere from $75-$275 to repair. In that case you have no other choice but to pay to get it repaired seeing a new phone is upwards of $600-$700. In other words, don't break your phone cuz you'll be sorry. Just saying

       

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      Anonymous, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 12:14pm

      Re: why not say the word ???? COUNTERFEIT

      Repair companies actually help Apple save their customer base. With the large amount of unhappy iPhone users (due to problems with their devices) these small generally privately owned companies are helping Apple save face by giving consumers a chance to get a working device back in their hands fast and affordably. Apple is not in the business of iPhone repair, outside of iPhone 5 glass replacements. They can't change a battery for a customer in their store. What option is the consumer left with? They must buy a refurbished phone from Apple. That is where the problem lies. Apple makes profit 5x over on the same exact phone that keeps getting recycled by their refurbishment centers.

      So you would rather pay $150 to get a refurb instead of $50 to have a battery swapped?

      Why aren't they going after the manufacturers of these parts? Shouldn't we be asking this. Because everything is made in China! All of Apple's parts are made in CHINA. They do not manufacture, they outsource to manufacturers, hence why there are almost 1k companies in China making parts for their devices. Why go after the tiny small business which employees US citizens and seize their property? Let's keep putting small business out of business, the future looks bright.

      Why wouldn't a repair shop have 10k worth of parts for a single device? The parts on the 5s are $200-300 each for the front glass alone. The iPhone 5 original parts cost over $100 for a piece of glass. A busy repair shop would need many of these weekly.

      Isn't it the job of customs to stop these parts from entering the country in the first place? Why does it matter if they use a "aftermarket" part anyway? As long as the customer is aware then why is it an issue. The majority of the phones are owned and out of warranty that are repaired.

      What would you do if you had all your valuable documents, photos, videos, and emails on a phone and your only solution was to get a refurbished replacement?

       

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      john, Apr 16th, 2014 @ 1:59pm

      Re: why not say the word ???? COUNTERFEIT

      actually i would feel the parts from pygmies in borneo would be of higher quality than ford parts lol

       

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    Overcast (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 10:40am

    YET another reason to NOT buy Apple's garbage.

    Plus, often aftermarket parts are the same quality - if not better.

     

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    Overcast (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 10:42am

    Almost seems funny to say this - but there's one solid way to avoid this problem...

    http://www.windowsphone.com/en-US

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 11:01am

    Are those phones going to trigger bombs or something if repaired by non-Apple parts?

     

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    gorehound (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 11:13am

    I hate this Government ! F#cking Corrupted POS !

     

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    AbbaDabba, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 11:51am

    one more for the road

    I agree.... Apple just SOAKS their customers. Ever look on their site to build one of their computers? Where you can purchase a Western Digital or Hitachi hard drive for maybe $100, Apple wants $600 for the same part. That's why I will NEVER do business with the iDiots over at Apple.

    And look like I will copyright the name Annonymous Coward and get royalties from its use. PAY UP SUCKERS.

     

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    zerostar83 (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 11:59am

    They should also be raiding auto body shops that don't use OEM parts.

     

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      Mr. Applegate, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 12:27pm

      Re:

      They should also be raiding auto body shops that don't use OEM parts.
      Well now you've done it! Now auto insurance rates are going to skyrocket. If it weren't for aftermarket parts many cars couldn't be repaired and would have to be scrapped and a new phones...

      ..., er um cars purchased instead of repairing the old one.

       

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    Andrew D. Todd, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 2:32pm

    The Trademarked Plastic Mounting Ring

    Here is a set of photographs some people made while programmatically dismantling an Ipad. Note the extreme paucity of Apple trademarks on components.

    http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPad+Wi-Fi+Teardown/2183/1

    The Ipad consists overwhelmingly of commodity parts. I realize this will come difficult to the Apple fanboys, but Apple has never really had a basic manufacturing proficiency much surpassing that of a home hobbyist. They job that stuff out to people who are in the business of manufacturing electronics-- such as Samsung. Apple is basically in the business of "nameplate engineering." About the only major functional component with an Apple logo is the CPU-- which Apple did not produce, and one little chip which looks as if it might be an amplifier or something like that. I would guess that soldering out the CPU chip, or any other chip, would be a fiendishly difficult business, as these are presumably surface-mounted. Anyway, CPU's are pretty well indestructible, so I doubt that's a common cause of failure. Those two chips seems to be the only ones bearing an Apple brand.

    If you look at the components which are likely to need replacing, and which are feasible replacements, not involving robot-soldering or anything like that, the two obvious candidates are the battery and the screen, both of which seem to be non-Apple commodity parts. Apple's trademark claims probably rest on the glass front-bezel's plastic mounting-ring, which does have a little apple stamped on it. As is mentioned in the tear-down report, using a tool they call a "spudger," the Ifixit experimenters had to break the plastic snap-tabs which held the mounting ring to the backplate. You can't open the Ipad up without breaking the mounting ring, so presumably, you need a new mounting ring when you start putting the Ipad back together, and that would be where the trademark issue arises. There is presumably someone with a bootleg plastics manufacturing plant in California, and no doubt ICE will be valuing this mounting ring, which costs perhaps fifty cents to manufacture, at several hundred dollars each, on the theory that it turns a non-Apple-branded good into an Apple-branded good.

    Incidentally, this is the way one would expect a five dollar toy to be built, not the way one would expect a computer to be built. Furthermore, an inexpensive pair of binoculars, or the like, has built-in looks or lugs, so that one can attach a strap, and avoid dropping them. It is almost as if the Ipad was intentionally designed to be dropped and broken.

     

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    technomage (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 3:14pm

    paranoid government speak:

    "Overheated phones could be used as a time delay thermal detonator for weapons of mass destruction"


    new star wars meme:

    "...because he's holding an iPhone with cheap knockoff parts!"

     

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    RoyalPITA (profile), Apr 30th, 2013 @ 3:59pm

    It is no different than shutting down local auto shops for repairing cars with non-oem equipment. Chevy does not endorse some Asian company making alternators and selling them via NAPA, or Pep-Boys, but it is not illegal in any way shape or form... Yet.


    What are our options when GENUINE parts are NOT available?

    If they say "Time to buy a new car", OK. I'll buy a Ford.

     

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    Wolfy, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 6:20pm

    If this doesn't demonstrate that the gov't works for the corporations as opposed to the citizens, you are seriously asleep.

    Please note, also, the repeated and urgent attempts to remove even semi-auto rifles from the hands of law abiding citizens.

    Even the poor saps in Syria have full auto rifles and RPG's and they're struggling to get rid of a despot. Ask the Syrians if you should give up any more weapon types.

     

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    richard, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 10:01pm

    wow they don't have anything better to do?

    that is crazy to know that ICE did this because the supplier should be the one getting harassed. and I would think once you buy any product it's up to you what you want to do with it and how you fix it. if that's the case they should raid every car repair shop in the US, I bet most don't use parts from the dealer , they would buy parts from Napa and autozone. in fact shut all auto part stores down while your at it ICE.....! this country is so twisted it's a joke. we are long over due for a revolution and this is a perfect example of the dumb people running the country and we just sit back and take it in the ass like homos..... and how can they be called ICE? that's is not professional because with all the drug problems in the US that needs to be changed also. ICE go do something productive.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2013 @ 10:07am

    Mike, you don't make you case strongly enough. You call it an "overreaction", but you don't detail for us what actual law (just or unjust) the repair shop is even being accused of violating. Thus you leave your reader with the vague impression that the repair shop is doing something wrong.

    What would a "reaction" (without the over) consist of in this case? As far as I can tell, doing nothing.

     

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    Mobile Recharge India, May 14th, 2013 @ 1:50am

    Yes,Counterfeit and Aftermarket are two very different things

     

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    Pete, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 1:52pm

    Ironically Apple was recently called to Washington to testify and explain why they are moving all of their profits out of the U.S. to offshore locations so that they don't have to pay Corporate Taxes on Billions of Dollars of earnings....but they want you use U.S. Government Agencies to do their dirty work?

     

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    Obvious guy, Jul 21st, 2013 @ 8:56am

    What can we do but lie back and take this?

    After all these great remarks and debates, what is the point really? Our voices just don't matter and don't mean anything. Who's going to stop this from happening again? Unless and even if there's a major news story investigating this investigation, no one has the power to stop the ICE or any form of government when they want to do something.

    Does anyone have any idea what can actually be done here or can we all just agree that we're powerless to stop the government no matter what we may think about our "personal rights and freedoms"?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 2:19pm

      Re: What can we do but lie back and take this?

      First, we'll try the ballot box. If that doesn't work, our founding fathers left us with other options as well.

       

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    Raul, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 8:21am

    Repair legally

    What about companies like ifixit or iCracked? According to other articles I found they are making millions selling iphone parts. I was about to start my business repairing cell phones but now I don't know. What if i want to repair using generic parts which don't have the Apple logo? What if I make banners to let my customers know that they are getting generic parts? This sucks.

     

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    Mike, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 12:16pm

    This sound stupid

    I have repaired alot of phones the past year and a half going from apple , Samsung , lg , HTC etc.. Even done a golf GPS once.. Over heating phones ?? Seriously ? That's called a water damaged phone .. Has nothing to do with aftermarket parts .. The motherboard has issues due to water damage and shit happens .. It over heats .. Not all but some phones do over heat.. Or it can also be a battery issue easily solved by getting a new battery.. I don't see what the fuss is all about .. It's waters fault not the parts installed .. I got an iPhone 5 and as I was driving in the car on a hot day it was getting really hot and I had to shut it off to cool it down.. Never been fixed in anyway.. Whose fault is it now ? Apple ? Weather ? Or maybe shit just happens and it's no ones fault ? Guess we'll never find out since the government rather take companies down instead of talking and learning more about what they are doing

     

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    seldom, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 12:20am

    smartphone tcl n3

    Dear,
    How are you!
    Hello this is seldom from flybit company.
    we are cooperate with Lenovo,ZTE ,HUAWEI original manufacturer and so on.we send this message hope can bring you some bifinite.our shop address as follow:
    http://www.aliexpress.com/store/138249
    you can contact with me by clliao@hanvideo.com, if there are chances to cooperate with you
    thank you ,have a nice day

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 2:15pm

    It's hard to maintain those hacks at the BIOS level if the repair shops aren't using the hacked parts.

     

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    the tech, Jan 28th, 2014 @ 11:45am

    there are liers

    i have a store here that tell people this crap we use oem parts my a**... should just tell the truth

     

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    Silver Fang (profile), Feb 18th, 2014 @ 12:59pm

    ICE too strong

    It seems like the scope of ICE's work has gone far beyond securing the border. These jack booted thugs are now enforcing copyright and patent laws within our borders. There is no limit to their power.

     

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    Mobile Phone Mechanic, Feb 24th, 2014 @ 4:16am

    cut prices

    Apple's big profit margins on high marked up parts are the reason for this market. Cut the prices and more folk will go for genuine.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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