A 17-year-old from Queens who tried to solve the white iPhone 4G shortage (or lack thereof) may be facing legal repercussions for selling kits to turn the black iPhone 4 white.
(More on TIME.com: Looking For a New Desk? This One’s a 58-inch iPhone)
He told the New York Observer: “I got an email from a private investigator accusing me of selling stolen goods, which I’m 100 percent sure is not the case. 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.”
(More on TIME.com: Mount Everest Finally Gets 3G Mobile Internet Service)
Lam realized there was a demand for this missing iPhone 4, so to make some money he decided to contact Foxconn Technology, notorious Chinese Apple parts supplier. Utilizing his fluent Chinese speaking skills, he made a connection with a guy he knew that new a guy – you know how this works. About six months ago, he started a website whiteiphonefournow.com, which sold the parts needed to refit your iPhone 4G with a white case. The prices are quite steep – $279 for the full kit, $135 for the back panel and $169 for the front panel and the home button – but it comes complete with the Apple logo making it an official unofficial iPhone 4. The demand for the white phone plus media attention from TechCrunch, CNET and CNN helped him raise $130,000. He hopes to use the money to go to NYU to study business or computer science.
(More on TIME.com: Apple Delays White iPhone Again, This Time Until Spring)
Instead he may have to use the money to fight a legal battle. The consequence for selling stolen goods can be up to five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine. Since the email came from a private investigator, Lan said he thinks it is just some concerned citizen on behalf of Apple and plans to continue selling the parts until he gets an official letter from the company. He does plan to lawyer up, however.
(More on TIME.com: Sprint’s 3G “Peel” Case Gives iPod Touch iPhone-like Powers)
Attempts to reach Apple for comment by phone and email were not returned.
More on Time.com: