Chinese police shut down a factory producing fake iPhones, the media reported on Sunday. The massive operation allegedly produced more than 40,000 units before police decided to take action, making nine arrests and confiscating over 1,400 fake handsets of different brands.
According to the police, the supplier, based in Beijing, allegedly established one of the largest knock-off phone operations found in recent years, PC World reported.
Since January, the supplier produced over 41,000 fake iPhones, along with 66,000 smartphone circuit boards, for a value of over $19.7 million (£12.7m).
The supplier had also created over a million handset accessory units, too.
According to the report, the supplier used old, discarded motherboards from other smartphones and repacked them into new casings. They were sold as knock-off phones, and most of them were sold abroad.
To supply the casings, the factory, which employed hundreds of people, relied on material shipped in from the Chinese city of Shenzhen that was labelled with brand names.
Apple is seeing China as its next big market, and the company’s business results show serious progress. Back in 2014, China was Apple’s biggest iPhone market. žIn the fourth quarter, 36 per cent of iPhone shipments went to China, while only 24 per cent went over to U.S. Europe and Asia also saw large growth in iPhone adoption over 2014, thanks to the larger screen options.
In one year, Apple has went from 5 per cent of the Chinese market to 18 per cent, and 63 per cent of all those sales were made in the last three months of the year.