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Chinese customs officials crack down on criminals using drones to smuggle iPhones into...

By Polycount · 23 replies
Mar 30, 2018
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  1. iPhone smuggling is big business in China if recent reports are anything to go by. According to Reuters, China-based smugglers have been taking advantage of drones to cleverly transport refurbished iPhones across the border from Hong Kong to Shenzhen.

    These criminals, numbering 26 in total, typically waited until night fell to attach small bags filled with roughly 10 iPhones each to their drones. Once the bags were attached, the smugglers sent their drones across the border.

    Since the smugglers could reportedly transfer "as many as 15,000" phones across the border in a single night, it will likely come as no surprise to learn the criminals managed to smuggle roughly 500 million yuan ($79.8 million) worth of the devices before being caught.

    Unfortunately for the smugglers in question, their nighttime escapades have finally come to an end. Shenzhen city customs officials recently tracked the criminals down and arrested them. How exactly customs agents found the group of smugglers has not been made clear.

    Regardless of the specifics, there's no denying using drones to smuggle high-end mobile devices is an unconventional idea. "It’s the first case found in China that drones were being used in cross-border smuggling crimes," Chinese state-owned newspaper the Legal Daily reported.

    Permalink to story.

  2. FreeBetaTester

    FreeBetaTester TS Enthusiast Posts: 66   +24

    What is so screwed up in China that you need to smuggle crappy iPhones made in China back to China. What business model is there to even make this remotely profitable? Does this even make sense? It really is iPhoneys for iD---iots. I really do NOT understand why there is even a market for this kind of nonsense. It is bad enough that there are so many fools overpaying for this junk in the first place.
  3. Solar Flair

    Solar Flair TS Enthusiast Posts: 33   +24

    The demand of crappy iPhone is high in China and Apple allocated amount of crappy iPhone to mainland China and Hong Kong separately. So the supply is more sufficient in HK. Some people will try to sell those crappy iPhones in mainland China because the selling price is (a little?) higher over there due to sold out issue.

    Note: Hong Kong is kind of part of China in case somebody don't know about it.
  4. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,625   +2,364

    "Regardless of the specifics, there's no denying using drones to smuggle high-end mobile devices is an unconventional idea."

    Maybe if you've been under a rock for the last five years. In most of the developed world its extremely common and the developing world is catching on fast. Yet another reason that people don't need access to this technology - its potentially far more dangerous than semi-automatic firearms with extended clips.
  5. FreeBetaTester

    FreeBetaTester TS Enthusiast Posts: 66   +24

    China's line is that Hong Kong is more than just "kind of part" of China. But why would Apple screw up the allocations so badly that Hong Kong should have such a large excess? This smells of government interference, a.k.a. corruption that stinks to the high heavens.
  6. FreeBetaTester

    FreeBetaTester TS Enthusiast Posts: 66   +24

    They've been smuggling contraband into jails for year now. I was telling my friends back in 2008, that we should get a start up going and sell drones for smuggling to the drug cartels. But then again we might be dead or in jail or both, so we gave up on that idea. And now you hear about this all over the place.
  7. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,625   +2,364

    Why would the cartels need a special supplier? Tracking isn't an issue - its not like its hard to get some schmoe to order things for you with no clue of what you're doing with them. Amazon and a thousand other retailers will happily sell you a drone that can carry a few kilos (or a bomb that's capable of killing everyone within 50 feet).
  8. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,823   +2,078

    It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a kilo of cocaine!
    OutlawCecil, Steve and Burty117 like this.
  9. Sausagemeat

    Sausagemeat TS Maniac Posts: 409   +202

    iPhones maybe crappy but they are a hell of a lot better than anything running Android!
  10. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,153   +3,576

    Their next target .......... Pizza delivery!
  11. FreeBetaTester

    FreeBetaTester TS Enthusiast Posts: 66   +24

    Back in 2008, DJI wasn't even a household name. There were no Parrot drones either. We were a bunch of RC helicopter nerds putting together our own helicopters and using it to lift silly things like soda bottles, mounting cameras and stuff. It didn't take long to imagine business applications, and how to come up with a simpler more reliable platform that didn't require trained pilots to keep thing from flipping over.
  12. FreeBetaTester

    FreeBetaTester TS Enthusiast Posts: 66   +24

    Sure it is a lot better at stealing people's money and funding the donut building built in cupertino.
  13. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,301   +1,752

    Better at what? At being expensive? If you are not already really invested into the Apple ecosystem (which is extremely restrictive and hard to get out of) then it's pretty much a stupid purchase.
  14. Sausagemeat

    Sausagemeat TS Maniac Posts: 409   +202

    iPhones are far superior devices to Android phones. They arent restrictive at all. Sounds like youve been brainwashed mate!
  15. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,301   +1,752

    "They arent restrictive at all." --- pfff hahahahahahahaha. ppl that think like this still exist? :D
    Call me back when you have access to a true working file system (ITunes FTW I guess?) or an universal back button.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2018
  16. Sausagemeat

    Sausagemeat TS Maniac Posts: 409   +202

    Erm, there is a file system on iOS mate. Also swipe to go back is more universal than anything Android has. Sounds to me like you dont even know what you are slagging off. As I mentioned before, youve been brainwashed. Programmed what to think. How very small minded of you.
  17. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,301   +1,752

    I don't think you understood what I meant by "file system". I was obviously talking about connecting the phone to PC and use it as an external drive (something basic, no extra software and weird restrictions). You must love ITunes a lot and waiting for it to sync gigabytes of data :D

    As for your "swipe" it's just not good. Beyond the obvious problems of using it with just one hand it also has problems with switching back between apps (like for example after opening the map from another app and going back). You still pretty much have to hope that the app has its own dedicated back button.
  18. Sausagemeat

    Sausagemeat TS Maniac Posts: 409   +202

    No I didnt, in 2017 Apple added a file management icon allowing users to have more control. Also I just plugged in my iphone and I can drag and drop files if I so wish.

    You are very misinformed.
  19. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,301   +1,752

    If that's a "file manager" then I must be high and don't understand what a file manager truly is. FYI it's still not what I was talking about. Norton Commander must be turning in its DOS grave.
  20. Sausagemeat

    Sausagemeat TS Maniac Posts: 409   +202

    Im sure whatever it is im missing must be critical. You did say a "true working file system". This is not really a very clear point. iPhones have this, I have just looked, you can manage any file, move it anywhere, create folders, back it all up to the cloud etc. Of course I dont use it, very few people need to. If you have the time to manage all your files manually and you want to store them locally then I dont see what Android does over iOS. Although Android devices have no quick or easy way of wirelessly transferring data like iPhones do. I had a mate on a dive boat just a few months ago unable to move video files from his phone to his laptop without downloading an app - which he couldnt do because there was no internet. I of course just airdropped the things to my laptop at the time.

    Look pal, I know how you have been programmed to think, you think that iOS is all locked down and that anyone who buys an iphone is dumb. But I havent found it restrictive at all, in fact I can do more with my iPhone than I could on my previous S8, there are more apps and accessories available for iphones. In fact my iPhone 8 plus is better in almost every conceivable way than my S8 particularly in the speed and battery life areas, I even prefer the larger screen of the 8 plus and find it better for reading black on white text than the harsh whites of the S8.

    Oh im not dumb either, I happen to work in a network operations center currently supporting a corporate telephony & data network. I probably know more about phones than most.
  21. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,301   +1,752

    Call me when you can just plug and play your Iphone and not have to use iTunes or iCloud (or any cloud storage) beyond moving your photos. The Files App is just a glorified iCloud App that requires you to watch a tutorial just so you can learn how to enable the option to save files locally on your Iphone. You can't even make a folder in the Root directory or unzip a file. You can't use it for anything beyond basic operations.
    Why is something as simple as plugging your phone in your desktop/laptop and using its storage as an external drive not available? (just like using an USB flash stick) You have to go through multiple hoops and loops to do this which are hard for less tech savvy people.

    The entire Apple ecosystem is BS. Just a few days ago, my boss, which has been using macs for over a decade, had to call me to find out how he can save his photos after Apple removed the option to view them in your local storage from the Photos app. Something is really wrong with the people working at Apple. All he freaking wanted was to make a backup on an external drive. It's incredible just how stupid and dumbed down they make everything going as far as removing basic options.

    PS: congrats on having a "file manager" after more than a decade :D it's nice to see Apple innovating again. it must have taken a lot of courage to make such radical changes.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
  22. OutlawCecil

    OutlawCecil TS Guru Posts: 653   +469

    Puiu is correct on just about everything. Sorry Sausagemeat you don't seem educated on this topic.

    Apple devices are dumbed down for users so yes, you have limited access in the file system. You are also required to use all Apple products where as Androids are highly compatible with just about any other brands. You also can't say iPhones are higher quality than Androids. Android devices are made by many companies, each having low AND high end devices. aka, you get choices with Android. A $999 Android will get you a very high end phone. Come to think of it, none are $999 though lol. Look up OnePlus 5t vs iPhone X. Half the cost, 95% better specs.

    also... lol @ thinking the iphone 8 beats specs on the galaxy 8. totally does not.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
  23. Sausagemeat

    Sausagemeat TS Maniac Posts: 409   +202

    You are incorrect. What I am saying is completely true. I think it seems that both you and Puiu need to go away and do some research. It seems that you guys have been programmed with misinformation.

    The iPhone 8 does outperform the S8 although the S8 has a higher resolution screen. If you are really struggling with all of this I can provide links to back this up.

    Dont be too embarassed guys, we all humiliate ourselves online from time to time. The key thing is knowing when to admit you are wrong...
  24. OutlawCecil

    OutlawCecil TS Guru Posts: 653   +469

    Still going on with this? Check the specs on ANY comparison site... Here's one for you. https://www.gadgetsnow.com/compare-mobile-phones/Apple-iPhone-8-vs-Samsung-Galaxy-S8

    Galaxy S8 pros:
    -bigger screen
    -almost double capacity battery
    -double RAM
    -dual sim compatible
    -more dust/dirt proof
    -higher screen to body ratio
    -almost double ppi (better pricture)
    -Gorilla glass 5
    -Expandable Memory
    -higher resolution camera
    -3.5 headphone jack

    iPhone 8 pros:
    -faster CPU
    -slightly lighter weight
    -better software for camera

    Don't agree? Show me where I'm wrong. Go ahead.

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