Elaborate pulley smuggling system created to get iPhones/iPads over HK border to China

MICGadget reports that some industrious Chinese smugglers devised an elaborate system to get iPads and iPhones across the border into the country where they were once built:

Hong Kong and Chinese customs have cracked an audacious smuggling operation that saw Apple goods ferried along a long cable straddling the border. The iPad and iPhones were transported over a small river that separates the booming city of Shenzhen from the rural northern part of Hong Kong using an elaborate pulley system. The cable was shot across the border using a crossbow [Batman?] and the Apple products were flying across at night, which store in black nylon bags. The cable was suspended to a high-rise building in the Chinese border town of Shenzhen, and goods were moved several hundred meters from a small village house located in Hong Kong

6 smugglers were arrested in the operation, 50’s iPad 2 and 50’s iPhone 4, which worth about three hundred thousand yuan (US$46,583) were seized.

It is startling that Chinese taxes make operations like this necessary, especially in the place where these things are actually produced! Read more

New iPhone 5 cases indicate a thinner but half inch wider and longer frame

Following our post with images of a purported iPhone 5 case, other sources like TechCrunch and Onlinelpnprogram.net have followed up with us with their own cases. This time we not only have a silicone case, but a hard case, too. The image above shows a top view of both of our cases. They both show a ringer switch on the opposite side of the volume keys, which is a shift from previous models of the iPhone. In addition, the bottom of these cases have holes for a separate speaker, main microphone, and USB dock connector. You may have noticed this on our iPhone 5 case post earlier this week, but today comes the more important information.

Our images were admittedly not very clear about the case’s thinness or if there was a “tear drop” as previously described by This is my next. Our new images are clear and there are appears to be a slight – not major – tear drop in the design. The case goes thick to thin from top to bottom. In addition, the sources who provided us with these two new cases have shared some dimensions. According to them, the case is 5 inches tall and 2.8 inches wide. These are tight cases so the iPhone 5 dimensions should only be a few millimeters smaller than those numbers. For comparison, the iPhone 4 is 4.5 inches tall and 2.31 inches wide. This likely will leave room for the rumored bigger screen, as reported by the WSJ, Bloomberg, and This is my next.

Although we are not able to absolutely confirm that these cases will fit the fifth-generation iPhone, the sources of these cases stress that the information used for design and manufacturing came from their own proven industry sources…Sources like the ones that provided amazingly accurate iPad 2 information and dimensions to case manufactures months before the product’s March debut. These cases are also just appearing weeks ahead of the iPhone 5’s debut. With the iPhone 5 most certainly in production, it is prime time for insider leaks to occur in Asia.


iPhone 4 case, left.  iPhone 5 case, right

Full gallery of iPhone 5 cases below: Read more

Next low cost iPhone?

MacRumors is reporting a plastic white iPhone found on Tinhte.vn may be the next value iPhone.

We only have 3 issues with these pictures:

1. It is running Cydia which is unlikely to be an easy install on a new prototype iPhone with a new cellular chip, internal hardware and firmware.  It is doubtful Apple is testing Cydia and it isn’t a cakewalk to jailbreak an entirely new device.
2. Probably most damning, it has the tell-tale old white speaker grill at the top which was phased out as the white iPhone was improved over the past year and a half. It looks like the poster may have tried to blur it as well. It is doubtful that Apple would go back to this flawed design.
3. Plastic?

Some other information that you want to transfer to you is that this machine seems to run faster than the iPhone 4, lighter weight and two glass front and back seem to have been replaced by two plastic sheets, type of sensation and cry other than the iPhone 4.

It is unlikely that Apple would ever replace the glass front with plastic.  Even the $229 iPod touch is glass.  Can you imagine Apple doing plastic face?  Not possible.

More likely there is a matte overlay on the front of it.

Otherwise, this phone has a plastic back which would decrease the weight and cost and increase the durability.  Which actually makes some sense – though the $229 iPod touch gets by with stainless steel.  We were throwing this device around yesterday and concluded it was probably an iPhone 4 prototype that was brought back up to the surface – there is no shortage of those in Asia.  Two more shots below.

Read more

Monster Apple Store in the heart of Hong Kong’s IFC center to open this fall? (update: new California store, too!)


The gigantic glass display spans three 6 lanes of traffic.

Apple’s Hong Kong Flagship store just got the curtain treatment according to a 9to5mac reader Nastypenman.  The IFC center is the gateway to Hong Kong from the Airport rail link (ferry terminal, subways, etc) and is in the heart of Central, Hong Kong’s premiere shopping and business district.  The IFC had evict or relocate about 20 stores on two-three levels, circled below in this Macrumors report from March.  It could be Apple’s most expensive store to date (rent-wise) as Hong Kong’s prices are some of the highest in the world and this is about the most sought-after spot in Hong Kong.

Apple is also rumored to be building another local store, possibly in Pacific Place a short walk away.

A very Apple-like internal picture below: Read more