Apple

As Apple Cracks Down, White iPhone Kid Hopes to Go It Alone

white iphone fei lam As Apple Cracks Down, White iPhone Kid Hopes to Go It AloneLast November Betabeat broke the story of Fei Lam, an enterprising young teenager from Queens who built a business selling white iPhone 4 conversion kits.

Now the white iPhone is finally out and Fei Lam’s business is no more. In fact, he shut it down after Apple’s first cease-and-desist letter. But Apple isn’t finished. Yesterday Apple filed suit against Fei Lam.

Betabeat has been chatting with Fei Lam over the past few months. “They gave me options,” Lam said. “If I do everything they say, they might not [pursue a case], but they also want all the profit, which I didn’t expect.”

Lam says he may not bring a lawyer to his meeting with Apple. “The lawyer fee alone is becoming a tremendous burden. I spoke to Woz a little, so hopefully he can do something about it.” Wozniak is a proud owner of one of Fei Lam’s white iPhones.

The lawsuit also names Fei Lam’s parents as defendants. “They have no idea what my business was,” says Lam, who moved to the United States when he was 9. Lam bought components billed as replacement parts from a supplier in China and had the units shipped directly to customers homes.

Since shutting down whiteiPhone4now.com, Lam has been working on a startup, similarinterests.org, a social web application for connecting users with shared likes. “I’m very thankful,” he said of the money he made on the iPhones. “For months I was struggling for an idea that would bootstrap my first startup and help pay for college.”

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Comments

  1. Asdf says:

    Why apple!? Are you trying to emulate Microsoft at being a douche?

    1. Downtown Resident says:

      Apple has been acting like a bunch of self important dicks for a long long time. It’s just only recently that they have been able to act with such impunity.

    2. Anonymous says:

      Apple yesterday finally filed a lawsuit against Lam and his parents,
      claiming infringement and dilution of its trademarks and engaging in
      deceptive practices through his conversion kit sales through his website
      at whiteiphone4now.com. Apple did, however, also file a voluntary
      dismissal of the lawsuit at the same time

      Yeah, a perfectly plausible trademark dilution suit is douche-y, as is immediately filing for voluntary dismissal.

      Those bastards.

  2. Ffmich01 says:

    Judging from the comments, it’s cool to rip off a big company if you are a little guy, and not cool to try and keep people from ripping you off if you are a big company.

    1. Yury Tilis says:

      Except he wasn’t ripping off anyone… He bought the same parts Apple buys directly from the manufacturer and sold them to people. His customers still needed an iPhone4. So how exactly was Apple “ripped off”?

  3. V says:

    I dont care how good the ipod/iphone is.  Between this and the gestapo you sent to the reporters house.  Im done supporting an evil company.

  4. Czarina Cleopatra Mendoza says:

    Apple is just protecting their brand. If they wouldn’t take action, people may think that it’s okay to pirate their products. Business is business and piracy is still a crime. Besides what’s the point of acquiring a patent if they won’t take action. Just my 2 cents. :)

    1. Rockne1865 says:

      Apple is not protecting their brand, he sold parts that had Apple,s logo to go on an Apples phone , had he been putting them on someones elses phone that would have been harmful to their brand Apple has a monopoly and the fed needs to crack down on Apple hard!

  5. If I own the phone and decide to customize it who the is Apple to tell me that I can’t. I can’t seem to see their logo on those covers….­.

  6. Oh this is really sad. I hope jobs is listening this one!