or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Teen behind white iPhone 4 kits learned of Apple's lawsuit through media reports
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Teen behind white iPhone 4 kits learned of Apple's lawsuit through media reports

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
The New York high school student who made thousands of dollars selling unauthorized white iPhone 4 conversion kits said in an interview that he learned of Apple's lawsuit against him through media reports.

Apple filed and simultaneously dismissed a lawsuit against Fei Lik "Phillip" Lam and his parents in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of New York earlier this week. The suit accuses Lam of "infringing and diluting Apple's famous trademarks" by selling parts for the then-unreleased white iPhone 4.

"Defendant at all times knew that Apple has never authorized the sale of white panels for its iPhone 4 mobile devices, and that he obtained these parts from sources that were not authorized by Apple or any of its suppliers to sell them," the complaint read.

However, in an interview with Fast Company, Lam admitted on Thursday that he first learned of the suit through the media. "Don't know if I should talk about it but I found out about the suit from the news," he said.

Lam also admitted that, contrary to earlier reports, he didn't make $130,000 from selling the conversion kits. When questioned whether his parents were upset when they learned of the lawsuit, Lam said they were "a bit upset."

In his defense, Lam asserts that he purchased the parts from a Chinese businessman, not from Foxconn directly. Foxconn issued a statement last year denying that its workers had sold any parts to Lam.



Though Lam and Apple have yet to reach a settlement, he is scheduled to meet with the company's lawyers in New York "within the next month."

Lam took his website offline after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from Apple last December. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak admitted that he "got in quick" to purchase a kit from the site before it was taken down.

After production challenges caused a 10-month delay, Apple released the white iPhone 4 in April. The device has been particularly popular in Asia, selling out within hours in several countries in the region. In China, a scuffle took place over the white iPhone 4 after alleged scalpers attempted to cut into a line for the smartphone.



Analyst Brian White with Ticonderoga Securities sees the device as having a "certain mystique and scarcity value." He predicts Apple could sell as many as 1.5 million units of the white iPhone 4 per quarter until the launch of the next-generation iPhone arrives.
post #2 of 23
I recall some here rhapsodizing about Wozniak as possible Apple CEO post-Jobs.
post #3 of 23
The kid sounds pretty savy to me, maybe Apple should offer him a job.
post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The New York high school student who made thousands of dollars selling unauthorized white iPhone 4 conversion kits said in an interview that he learned of Apple's lawsuit against him through media reports.

Apple filed and simultaneously dismissed a lawsuit against Fei Lik "Phillip" Lam and his parents in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of New York earlier this week. The suit accuses Lam of "infringing and diluting Apple's famous trademarks" by selling parts for the then-unreleased white iPhone 4.

"Defendant at all times knew that Apple has never authorized the sale of white panels for its iPhone 4 mobile devices, and that he obtained these parts from sources that were not authorized by Apple or any of its suppliers to sell them," the complaint read.

However, in an interview with Fast Company, Lam admitted on Thursday that he first learned of the suit through the media. "Don't know if I should talk about it but I found out about the suit from the news," he said.

I doubt this is true or possibly his parents knew but didn't tell him/

Lam also admitted that, contrary to earlier reports, he didn't make $130,000 from selling the conversion kits. When questioned whether his parents were upset when they learned of the lawsuit, Lam said they were "a bit upset."

In his defense, Lam asserts that he purchased the parts from a Chinese businessman, not from Foxconn directly. Foxconn issued a statement last year denying that its workers had sold any parts to Lam.

Regardless of where he got the parts, they had Apple's logo on them so they were counterfeits.



Though Lam and Apple have yet to reach a settlement, he is scheduled to meet with the company's lawyers in New York "within the next month."

Lam took his website offline after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from Apple last December. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak admitted that he "got in quick" to purchase a kit from the site before it was taken down.

After production challenges caused a 10-month delay, Apple released the white iPhone 4 in April. The device has been particularly popular in Asia, selling out within hours in several countries in the region. In China, a scuffle took place over the white iPhone 4 after alleged scalpers attempted to cut into a line for the smartphone.



Analyst Brian White with Ticonderoga Securities sees the device as having a "certain mystique and scarcity value." He predicts Apple could sell as many as 1.5 million units of the white iPhone 4 per quarter until the launch of the next-generation iPhone arrives.

Very fortunate that Apple went easy on him.

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

Reply

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

Reply
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by akhosrof View Post

The kid sounds pretty savy to me, maybe Apple should offer him a job.

Yeah and then the kid could sell trade secrets to the highest bidder.

     197619842014  

     Where were you when the hammer flew?  

 

MacBook Pro Retina, 13", 2.5 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD

iPhone 5s • iPad mini Retina • Chromebook Pixel • Nexus 7

Reply

     197619842014  

     Where were you when the hammer flew?  

 

MacBook Pro Retina, 13", 2.5 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD

iPhone 5s • iPad mini Retina • Chromebook Pixel • Nexus 7

Reply
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1984 View Post

Yeah and then the kid could sell trade secrets to the highest bidder.

Yeah, putting the Apple logo on the parts was stupid, he could have just sold a nice looking white replacement case and I can't imagine there would have been anything illegal about it at all. Or at least if the law in general made any sense...
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrstep View Post

Yeah, putting the Apple logo on the parts was stupid, he could have just sold a nice looking white replacement case and I can't imagine there would have been anything illegal about it at all. Or at least if the law in general made any sense...

What do you mean "putting"? These were legit parts. The logo was there. He didn't put it there and he couldn't remove it.
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


However, in an interview with Fast Company, Lam admitted on Thursday that he first learned of the suit through the media. "Don't know if I should talk about it but I found out about the suit from the news," he said.


He is either lying or more likely because he is a minor his parents were served the paperwork and didn't tell him. But, assuming all this talk is actual fact, Apple informed him of the suit. Otherwise it is not valid


Quote:
Originally Posted by mrstep View Post

Yeah, putting the Apple logo on the parts was stupid, he could have just sold a nice looking white replacement case and I can't imagine there would have been anything illegal about it at all.


The logo is not the only issue. If at any point he used the terms Apple or iPhone to sell this item then he was also trading with Apple trademark's which he was not authorized to use.

Also if Chinese law is anything like US he was dealing in stolen goods

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I recall some here rhapsodizing about Wozniak as possible Apple CEO post-Jobs.

Chief Goofball would be a polite title for him.
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
Reply
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
Reply
post #10 of 23
If we accuse this kid of paying for stolen goods then we must also accuse Woz of this crime. Surely Woz would know about authentic Apple products than anyone yet I think we’ve seen him flaunt his stolen kit in public, perhaps even outside an Apple Store before an event.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #11 of 23
Apple put a halt to the kid's business with the suit. They had to protect their interest, but this legal case will be a no show. Apple PR surely wants nothing to do with prosecuting some teenager. Enjoy the brief hoopla while it last guys. This case is going nowhere. Apple will never press it. Nor will they allow an Apple Cofounder, the "Woz," to be dragged into a legal battle over this issue.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

If we accuse this kid of paying for stolen goods then we must also accuse Woz of this crime. Surely Woz would know about authentic Apple products than anyone yet I think weve seen him flaunt his stolen kit in public, perhaps even outside an Apple Store before an event.

It's not solely about purchasing questionable goods but desalting them.

I'd love to know how a teenager found a Chinese business man with legit white iPhone parts many months in advance.
Hard-Core.
Reply
Hard-Core.
Reply
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

If we accuse this kid of paying for stolen goods then we must also accuse Woz of this crime. Surely Woz would know about authentic Apple products than anyone yet I think we’ve seen him flaunt his stolen kit in public, perhaps even outside an Apple Store before an event.

Of course.

Just one more reason why Woz has no more significant role at Apple. He's got no concept of intellectual property or even ethics.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Of course.

Just one more reason why Woz has no more significant role at Apple. He's got no concept of intellectual property or even ethics.

Hilarious.

Oh, you were serious? HA!
post #15 of 23
Claiming he didn't know about the suit against him, yet he received a cease and desist letter last year. Whatch me as a I call 'bull' on his story.

... at night.

Reply

... at night.

Reply
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I recall some here rhapsodizing about Wozniak as possible Apple CEO post-Jobs.

LOL... first thing that would happen: Woz spends Apple's $50 billion cash surplus, all at once on something frivolous and whimsical.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #17 of 23
Bang! Bang! Steve Job's Applehammer
came down on poor Fei's head.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

It's not solely about purchasing questionable goods but desalting them.

I'd love to know how a teenager found a Chinese business man with legit white iPhone parts many months in advance.

If he didn't buy the parts from Apple, even if they are identical, they were not legit. The parts source had no legal rights to selling 'Apple' parts to third parties even if they manufactured them.

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

Reply

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

Reply
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

What do you mean "putting"? These were legit parts. The logo was there. He didn't put it there and he couldn't remove it.

If he didn't buy the parts from Apple, even if they are identical, they were not legit. The parts source had no legal rights to selling 'Apple' parts to third parties even if they manufactured them and he was not authorized to buy and resell 'Apple' parts either.

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

Reply

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

Reply
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Realistic View Post

If he didn't buy the parts from Apple, even if they are identical, they were not legit. The parts source had no legal rights to selling 'Apple' parts to third parties even if they manufactured them and he was not authorized to buy and resell 'Apple' parts either.

In China the people are so poor there is a huge black market. Actually if you search the internet you will find parts for almost any Apple computer. what goes out one door as finished goods in the factory. out the back door go the parts for anyone to buy. So this is no big news he got the parts from someone in China wanting to unload apple parts. the kid caught thats all.
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

It's not solely about purchasing questionable goods but desalting them.

I'd love to know how a teenager found a Chinese business man with legit white iPhone parts many months in advance.

Didn't he start selling kits after Apple announced a delay in the white iPhone release? My guess is that these were white casings manufactured for Apple, but when Apple found problems in the design, the contractor was left holding the bag. Either they didn't destroy the parts as Apple ordered, or somebody sneaked them out. Another possibility is that it's the classic Chinese practice of making a few extra for yourself to sell when you're contracted to make the originals. After all, they already have access to the tooling.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Realistic View Post

If he didn't buy the parts from Apple, even if they are identical, they were not legit.

That's not at all what I mean. By legitimate I meant that he did not manufacture the parts himself. They were designed by Apple FOR Apple products.

Quote:
The parts source had no legal rights to selling 'Apple' parts to third parties even if they manufactured them and he was not authorized to buy and resell 'Apple' parts either.

Exactly.
post #23 of 23
I'm surprised nobody else here is bothered by the fact that Apple issued press releases announcing the suit (and publicly accusing Lam) before Lam was actually served by the suit.

That's something I'd expect from the RIAA. I'm very saddened to hear that Apple legal is stooping to such tactics. It shouldn't be a big deal to wait for the person serving the papers to report back before issuing press releases.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
  • Teen behind white iPhone 4 kits learned of Apple's lawsuit through media reports
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Teen behind white iPhone 4 kits learned of Apple's lawsuit through media reports