AH Tech Talk: What Would You Do For Your Next Flagship Device?

Normally, a news report needs to be introduced and explained. However, normally, a news report does not come with an image of a guy with 94 smartphones strapped to his body. Now, it is understandable when drugs are smuggled into a country. There is a need, a demand and a seriously large amount of money to be made. But how much demand can there be for a smartphone. Granted, these were iPhones and some people do go a bit doolally for Apple but surely there is a limit. What's more, is you have to question the method employed. When you think of people smuggling phones into a black market (well, to be fair, no one probably thinks of that) you probably think of them being shipped in suitcases, parcels, carried onboard in luggage etc. What you do not tend to think of, is some guy with a whole bunch of smartphones strapped to his body as if they were...well you know.

It is impossible to just post this image and not provide some background info, so here you go. The accused was trying to enter the Futian Port in China after arriving from Hong Kong and was walking into the immigration hall. Apparently, his movements (which were noted consisting of 'weird walking posture', 'joint stiffness' and 'muscle tension') seemed to attract the customs officials attention. The accused was then stopped for a 'routine inspection' and no suspicious items were found in his carry-on. He was then asked to go through the metal detectors and as you can guess, the alarm was activated. Following inspection, the accused was found to have 94 iPhones strapped to his chest, abdomen, "cross-department", thigh and calf.

This leads to the question, how important is it to have a smartphone. China is one of the fastest growing markets for smartphones and due to the influx of homegrown OEMs, probably has more of a selection of smartphones to choose from than any other country. Yet, here we are with a picture of a guy with 94 smartphones strapped to his body. Which by the way, leads to the next question...Where are they all strapped? Although, you can see a lot in the pictures, it doesn't really look like he has 94, does it? Some more discreetly hidden, maybe? Luckily for this guy, they were only iPhone 5 and 5S devices. It probably would have been a little more difficult to try and smuggle in 94 Nexus 6 or iPhone 6 Plus devices. The 4" iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S are far more smuggable sized, don't you think?

So, following on from this, one has to ask what lengths should people be going to, to obtain a new smartphone. Saving up is one thing and selling your device is another. We all do know how fanatical smartphone lovers can be about a new model but could you ever imagine smugglers doing the same in other markets? The Nexus 6 was notoriously difficult to get a hold of when it was first released although there did not seem to be any news reports about workers in the Motorola factories strapping themselves with Nexus devices to ship back to crazed fans in the US. Could it be an iPhone thing? Are the iPhone fanboys and girls really that much more fanatical than the android fanboys and girls? What does make the current news all the more stranger is that, iPhones are no longer banned in China and you can pick them up now. Which makes the question even more apparent, how far would you go or what would you do for your next smartphone? Let us know

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About the Author

John Anon

John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]