A 17-year-old from New York has been ordering white iPhone 4 parts directly from a contact at Foxconn, a factory complex in China responsible for building Apple products among other things, and putting his own conversion kits together. His website, WhiteiPhone4Now shows he has sold some 500 kits so far, meaning at a price of $279, he has managed to make about $139,500 in the last three months. Sounds like a typical American entrepreneur story, right? Well, not exactly.
"I got an email from a private investigator accusing me of selling stolen goods, which I'm 100 percent sure is not the case," Lam told The New York Observer. "They are some kind of anti-counterfeit/trademark firm, which sounds ridiculous, similar to what Apple is bringing up to remove White iPhone 4 Listings on eBay. I don't know how this legal stuff works. There are a couple of other sellers online and somehow I'm the 'focus' of it all. I think this guy is just trying to scare me into stop selling on behalf of Apple."
We don't know who hired the investigator but few would be surprised if it ended up being none other than Apple. Despite the possibility of jail-time and fines, Lam is not throwing up the white flag and intends to contact a lawyer. He has no plans to take his site down or change his business practices. He wants to use his earnings to help pay for college and set up a small start-up.
While the black iPhone 4 was released earlier this year, the white version saw a series of delays and won't be released until Spring 2011. For those who really want a white iPhone 4, it's not surprising they're simply buying from Lam instead of waiting for Apple.