If the rumored $1,100 price tag of the iPhone 8 makes you squirm then you’re probably not the type of person to participate in an iPhone smuggling operation. A woman was caught trying to enter mainland China with 102 iPhones strapped to her body. For those reaching for a calculator, let me save you some time, the value of 102 iPhone 7 Plus phones comes out to around $100,000. You read that right. This lady was packing six figures worth of iPhones as she tried to travel from Hong Kong to mainland China.
Why smuggle smartphones into China like this? There is plenty of money to be made for people who are able to sneak luxury items into mainland China. The cost of an iPhone 7 Plus, for example, is much higher in China than it is in Hong Kong and other countries. This makes iPhone smuggling a very attractive black market business endeavor for entrepreneurial-minded criminals.
Border officials in Shenzhen noticed strange bulges under the woman’s clothing and pulled her aside for a search. That’s when the stash of iPhones was uncovered. The woman was also found to have some luxury watches, the value of which is currently not known. For those keeping score, this woman was carrying over $100,000 worth of iPhones before the watches were even factored in. I get nervous when I have more than $20 in my wallet.
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China tries to combat this type of smuggling and stories like this come out every few months. The popularity of iPhones makes them one of the most commonly found items in smuggling operations like this.
It sounds like iPhone smuggling is big business in China. If the iPhone 8 stock is low as some analysts are predicting, perhaps smugglers like this woman stand to make a fortune once the new smartphone launches this fall. Personally, my favorite part of this whole story is the photo where the smuggler has to pose with the items and a border officer on either side of her. What are the odds that she makes this picture her Facebook profile picture?