Factory in China produced over 40,000 knock-off iPhone handsets

OVER 40,000 FAKE iPhones worth over £1.2m were produced in a factory in China, according to Beijing police who busted the counterfeit operation.

The raid revealed that the factory had produced more than 41,000 knock-off iPhones, and led to the arrest of nine suspects, including a married couple thought to have organised the operation.

The bust was revealed in a social media posting on Sunday by the public security bureau in Beijing, and took place on 14 May after a tip-off from US authorities.

Police found 1,400 handsets that used second-hand smartphone components and were repackaged as iPhones. These were made for export by hundreds of workers. Large quantities of accessories were also found.

The bureau believes that the couple leading the operation set up the factory with six assembly lines in January, and ran the operation under the guise of a gadget maintenance shop on the northern outskirts of Beijing.

It remains unknown exactly how many phoney handsets were made in the factory, and how many are out there in the wild and where.

The latest model of the iPhone currently retails for at least £539 for the lowest storage option. It’s unknown how much the counterfeit gang charged for the handsets, but it is likely to have generated huge profits.

Apple has yet to comment on the news.

This isn’t the first time fake Apple products have turned up in China. Authorities in the country shut down a number of fake Apple stores in 2011, five of which were operating in a single city.

The stores apparently copied the real thing so well that many of the staff believed that they were actually working for Apple.

The giveaway, to those in the know, was that the fake shops used a sign outside reading ‘Apple Store’ instead of the normal fruit logo.

Closer inspection inside the building revealed that construction was poor, and that the walls had not been properly painted.

By: Lee Bell