If I understand this article correctly, they buy a new iPhone, replace an expensive part of it with a cheap knock off, return the "broken" phone to have it replaced and finally sell the expensive part as well as the replacement phone.

Even if you sell an iPhone in an unopened box I guess you lose at least 20 % of what you paid for it. I don't understand how e.g. stealing the screen or the battery of the phone could cover that cost (no less the cost of the work of taking out the battery or hiring people to visit the Apple Store and so on).

What am I missing?

Edit: Why is my question put on hold while a similar generic scam question like this is allowed?


1 Answer 1


It is a network involving small-time shops. 20% loss is if you are directly selling as second hand. These are sold by shops for almost the same price; at times it could be at premium if lead time or queues are large.

The CPU is the most expensive part, followed by mother board. If you have a iPhone out of warranty and broken, you can replace the parts and make additional money.

  • 1
    Still, the parts are not the what makes an iPhone expensive bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-08/…
    – d-b
    Oct 11, 2018 at 0:21
  • 1
    @hensti What the article says is costs of iPhone parts to Apple are around 37% and they make a huge margin. This does not mean that one can buy all the parts from retail store and put together an iPhone for that price. So If I have a old iPhone out of warranty, it is more expensive to repair and costs as much as new one. So there is a grey market where they can canalized part from other phones and make a good working phone. Taking this practice further, you can steel the parts and make a old broken iPhone as good as new, cheaper than what iPhone would charge to repair if at all they do.
    – Dheer
    Oct 11, 2018 at 7:24

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