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China Crime Iphone Apple

Housewives On Trial In China For Smuggling In iPhones 150

Posted by timothy
from the random-headline-generator dept.
Quillem writes "Last year, Hong Kong residents were finding it hard to get their hands on the latest Apple iGadget even though supply was plentiful. An investigation revealed that most of the iPhones and iPads that made it into HK were being smuggled sans import duties into mainland China—where the devices were yet to be released—by housewives who were paid around USD 6 per smuggled gadget. Earlier this week, 25 of the suspected smugglers went on trial in Shenzhen city."
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Housewives On Trial In China For Smuggling In iPhones

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  • Eh? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 17, 2012 @01:55AM (#42010225)

    How do you smuggle in crap made in your country?

    • by wisty (1335733)

      Taxes, and carrier contracts. It's extremely common for luxury goods to be sold cheaper in Hong Kong than in mainland China. They are also more likely to be authentic.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      This is a very common practice. Not just iPhones, but all kinds of electronics are being smuggled from Hong Kong to China. Regularly I hear about police intercepting a smuggling attempt, usually larger volumes of PCBs, computer chips, hard drives, and other components being smuggled to the mainland.

      This has to do with taxes. Electronics, particularly expensive stuff, is smacked with a "luxury tax" of like 20% on sales value (I forgot the exact number), plus of course a VAT. So an electronic device produced

    • by arisvega (1414195)

      How do you smuggle in crap made in your country?

      And for $6/piece, risking time in a Chinese prison?

      Sounds VERY desperate-

    • Millions won't agree with you calling iPhone "crap". For the smuggling, the reason is that these products are made primarily from imported components; China makes the least valuable parts and does the assembling of the final products. The values added by Chinese companies are very low, like 10%. The imported components are not taxed because the products are for export. (This is also why China insists the trade deficit with the US is not that high since it is really the trade deficit between US and the rest

  • by Eyeball97 (816684) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @02:18AM (#42010301)

    Ah, roast scapegoat...

    Talk about clickbait headlines... tfa says it's an $80,000,000 smuggling ring that's been busted...

    This isn't some little old ladies smuggling a few iPhones in their suitcase for the price of a meal...

    • Correct title:
      Criminals On Trial In China For Smuggling In iPhones

  • by tuppe666 (904118) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @02:22AM (#42010317)

    Seriously I can't help feeling like Apple propaganda is kind of sad now they are irrelevant. The iPhone is a failure in China and in current news its market share [as everywhere] is dropping YOY [its irrelevant] from 5.8% and by quarter from 6.0 down to 4.2 unlike Android which has gone YOY 46.8% and by quarter 82.8% to 90.1%...Android is outselling Apple 21:1

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Aren't the facts rather that yes, Android is on most cheaper smartphones, hence they sell a lot in total, but Apple still has a good grip (and profitability) on the high end market.
      I think you can compare Apple to a car manufacturer like BMW. Generally well designed and made, often pointing the way forward, indeed relatively small compared to a mass maker like Toyota yet financially healthy.

      • by tuppe666 (904118) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @02:48AM (#42010389)

        I think you can compare Apple to a car manufacturer like BMW.

        Enough with the marketing crap. Android phones at the at an average price of 1293 yuan are about $236 you get an Android Phone that has measurably better hardware than an iPhone for that money and subjectively better software [I would say years ahead]. Maybe you should pick on of these http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_defunct_automobile_manufacturers_of_the_United_States [wikipedia.org]

        • by Karlt1 (231423)

          Better how?

          • by MacDork (560499)

            Better how?

            Better in any way you like, really. Want a big screen? Android has that. Like a small screen instead? Android has that too. Like a massive battery? Android has that. Like a powerful processor? Android has that. Keyboard? Check. Candybar with touch screen? Check. Waterproof flip phone? Check. Droid stick for 50 bucks? Check. Tablet for $50? Check. Camera with 21x optical zoom? Check.

            What is important to you?

            • by Karlt1 (231423)

              Care to find an Android phone that benches higher than an iPhone 5? But what if I want a mll screen ith a powerful processor?

        • Enough with the marketing crap. Android phones at the at an average price of 1293 yuan are about $236 you get an Android Phone that has measurably better hardware than an iPhone for that money and subjectively better software [I would say years ahead].

          I'm a little late to the party but I think this is an important point to rebut and emphasize the quality of Apple products.

          Back in August I was riding my bicycle in the Presidio, coming down McDowell Avenue between 15 and 20 mph. If you know anything about the Presidio, you know the roads are very steep.

          My iPhone was in an armband case on my left arm and when I rode over some oil on the road and I went down. Hard. On my left side. My iPhone glass was cracked and the right edge which led the impact into the

          • by MacDork (560499)

            Say what you will about marketshare, but I seriously doubt there is another phone on the market that can survive an impact like the one I had and continue working.

            Off the top of my head, Xperia Go [youtube.com] is very durable. Casio commando too. Heck, I've even seen people do things that made me cringe with high end phones like the One X. [youtube.com] Plenty of rugged Androids out there. They will not only keep working, but they'll look good doing it.

      • I think you can compare Apple to a car manufacturer like BMW. Generally well designed and made, often pointing the way forward, indeed relatively small compared to a mass maker like Toyota yet financially healthy.

        Hmm not sure if that fits. In Europe, BMW out-sells Ford and Toytoa ( individually ) in the mid-sized sedan market and has done so every year since 2006.

        BMW is mass market and has shifted from sporting saloons to executive cruisers.

        Some people actually rate the Ford Mondeo as a better-handling car than the 3-series.

      • by MacDork (560499)

        Aren't the facts rather that yes, Android is on most cheaper smartphones, hence they sell a lot in total, but Apple still has a good grip (and profitability) on the high end market. I think you can compare Apple to a car manufacturer like BMW. Generally well designed and made, often pointing the way forward, indeed relatively small compared to a mass maker like Toyota yet financially healthy.

        Aaaaaaand history repeats itself again. That is the exact same line of BS I heard a million times (and probably repeated a few times myself) back in the late 90s when Windows was busy being the industry leader and Apple had nearly disappeared into irrelevance.

        I've got news for you: It only gets worse for Apple from here. Sell while you can.

    • by iamhassi (659463)

      Seriously I can't help feeling like Apple propaganda is kind of sad now they are irrelevant. The iPhone is a failure in China and in current news its market share [as everywhere] is dropping YOY [its irrelevant] from 5.8% and by quarter from 6.0 down to 4.2 unlike Android which has gone YOY 46.8% and by quarter 82.8% to 90.1%...Android is outselling Apple 21:1

      No, not quite. It's not that the iPhone is a failure in china, it's the fact that the iPhone is not available on the top carriers in china. It would be like if the iphone was only available on tmobile in the US, except theres 5x more people in China than the US. Besides, most sales doesn't mean best: McDonalds is the top selling restaurant in the world, doesn't mean they sell the best food.

      • It's not that the iPhone is a failure in china

        Its exactly a failure in China, Android is outselling Apple 21:1 however you spin it. These are not people tied into 2 year contacts.

        As for you comparing McDonalds to "Android" shame on you. These are on average 1393 yuan phones for that price you get measurably better hardware, and arguably better software. Its more popular because its *better value* not *cheaper* which is why Android share is increased to 90.1% and Apples has dropped to 4.2%. Maybe Apple should lose some of that ridiculous mark-up.

    • by iamhassi (659463) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @03:24AM (#42010513) Journal

      The iPhone is a failure in China and in current news its market share [as everywhere] is dropping YOY [its irrelevant

      A lot of things are failures in China. Google is a failure in China. Facebook is a failure in China. Does this mean google and Facebook are irrelevant too? If you did world wide market share of social media or search engines I bet you'd discover that whatever is popular in China ends up having the most market share because china has almost 5x more people than the US

      • by tuppe666 (904118)

        Google is a failure in China

        No Google took the high ground in China, as its computers were hacked and they demanded too much control [User Information] The reality is though the iphone even worldwide is being outsold 5:1 by Android its just just a bigger failure in China being outsold 21:1

        • by wvmarle (1070040) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @10:58AM (#42011943)

          Come on. Not to defend Apple as such, but how can you call being outsold 1:5 a failure when you have one single model competing with hundreds of other models? When you compare model to model I wouldn't be surprised iPhone is the nr 1 selling phone model at a distance. Samsung is the only one that may rival them, they have some really well selling models. And in the Android world there are new models available almost every single day, while Apple has a new model maybe once a year.

          In China it's even more so. When it comes to mobile phones, the US market is highly controlled and restricted, the China market is open. Yes, you heard that correctly: communist China's market is much more open than capitalist US's market. In China, like most of the rest of the world outside the US, you buy a phone, and then you buy a subscription to a network. They don't come bundled. So it's much easier for newcomers to put a model on the market - they don't need to care about having a carrier's blessing. This results in immense competition, pushing down prices.

          And because no-one other than Apple can use iOS on their phones, they all opt for the Android option. Many would likely want iOS if it were available. Many would possibly even use Microsoft's offering if it were as cheap and customisable as Android.

          • by tuppe666 (904118)

            Come on. Not to defend Apple as such, but how can you call being outsold 1:5 a failure when you have one single model competing with hundreds of other models?

            Its like cheating somehow!? The Samsung Galaxy III has sold more than the iPhone on its own. Although I do not think it is somehow cheating to sell more than one phone lol.

          • by tobiasly (524456)

            When it comes to mobile phones, the US market is highly controlled and restricted, the China market is open. Yes, you heard that correctly: communist China's market is much more open than capitalist US's market. In China, like most of the rest of the world outside the US, you buy a phone, and then you buy a subscription to a network. They don't come bundled. So it's much easier for newcomers to put a model on the market - they don't need to care about having a carrier's blessing.

            You can do the same thing here in the U.S on GSM carriers (AT&T and T-Mobile being the big ones). You don't need the "carrier's blessing" to put any phone on their network. Now for whatever reason most people seem to prefer subsidized phones but that's a different matter.

            But it's still the free market at play, not some nefarious "control & restrictions". Anyone can buy a top of the line Android phone for $300 and use it contract free on whatever network they choose. If more people did that then you'

    • Android is replacing Symbian, not iPhone. Really, look at the numbers. In China, people wish for an iPhone, but settle for an Android. That could hurt them eventually, but not now.
      • by tuppe666 (904118)

        Android is replacing Symbian, not iPhone. Really, look at the numbers. In China, people wish for an iPhone, but settle for an Android. That could hurt them eventually, but not now.

        Your absolutely right Apple was never a success in China. Its simply more of failure now. Can we stop the bullshit that people wish for an iPhone, people are choosing Android over Apple worldwide at 5:1, with 70% of sales vs Apples 15%. Apple simply is irrelevant to the smartphone market.

        • You have issues dude, and your issue is that you "use statistics as a drunk man uses a lamp post, for support rather than illumination." Stop it.
      • by wvmarle (1070040)

        They will just go for the special Chinese edition of the iPhone. Often a bit smaller than the original, and comes with two extra buttons. For the rest it looks exactly the same, both the case and the screen output. It just behaves more like Android, and the apps don't come from Apple's App Store. For the rest it's the same. It's even branded iPnone.

      • A friend of mine in HK just bought a Samsung, one of those ones that are bigger than any asian's tiny hands, I asked her why she didn't buy the iPhone. Too expensive she said.

    • Apple propaganda is kind of sad now they are irrelevant.

      A half trillion dollar global company with consistent double digit annual growth irrelevant? A single company with 17% global smart phone market share (surpassed only by Samsung) irrelevant? A single company with 50% of global tablet market share irrelevant?

      From a business standpoint they are certainly relevant. Maybe you mean nobody pays attention to Apple? Is that why every /. story about Microsoft, Google, Android and many other unrelated topics has people posting about Apple? I guess the press never wri

      • by tuppe666 (904118)

        A half trillion dollar global company with consistent double digit annual growth irrelevant? A single company with 17% global smart phone market share (surpassed only by Samsung) irrelevant? A single company with 50% of global tablet market share irrelevant?

        No I mean. A company has shrunk in the phone market from 23% to 14.9%; Lost a quarter of its market cap in a quarter; That was larger than Samsung that only to sell half the phones of it; that had 100% tablet market now has only 50% down 20% in one quarter.

        Are we not seeing a downward trend, with your own information.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      They may be a "failure" but having 5% of a market worth 1.3 billion people, is still a huge market. With so little market share they would still be able to sell more phones in China then they would on a 20% market share in the US.

  • USD 6? How much is that in CHF? Forget even Renminbi. I'm too ignorant to convert anything into my own currency and I demand to be disneyfied!
  • Do we really still call them 'housewives' (itself a difficult and noble occupation) when they're professional smugglers?

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