If you are looking for an iPhone on eBay, you will surely see the offers for iCloud-locked iPhones at low prices. Most of the phones are stolen products, and according to PCMag, Vietnam is the final leg in the itinerary of most of the illegal phones.
Apple has been providing FindMyiPhone, an app that allows users to locate their missing iPhones, for the last several years. However, the app seems to have improved even further with iOS 7.0's introduction of iCloud. If users lose their iPhones or have them stolen, they can render the phones unusable with Find MyiPhone. In order to re-activate a phone, one needs the iCloud password.
Unsurprisingly, this feature has made stolen iPhones less valuable for thieves.
The iCloud-locked iPhones have been offered on sale at very low prices on eBay.Someone would presumably buy them to salvage their parts and accessories.
However, the iPhones still have been brought to Vietnam in large quantities. While iCloud-locked iPhones are not really valuable to users, they can bring money to those who sell renewed iPhones.
The appearance of iPhones in the market has created a new job in Vietnam: many people have been earning their living by repairing old iPhones or renewing iPhones for sale.
In Vietnam, one can fix any problem on an iPhone at a cost of less than $5 (VND100,000). Vietnam is believed to be the final destination point of the iCloud-locked iPhones.
A lot of Vietnamese still dream of having iPhones, though the high end products are unaffordable to them. They could be the potential buyers of the iCloud-locked iPhones. With the iPhones, they still have “Apple's products”, while they don't have to pay too much for them.
On many Vietnamese websites, one can see numerous ad pieces for iCloud unlocking services. Some of the service providers say they can do this just for VND2.1-4.2 million. However, telecom experts have warned people not to believe the ads, affirming that to date no software can help break iCloud.
In fact, there is the possibility of iCloud being neutralized and new software being installed in the devices. According to VnReview, PC Mag tried to contact Apple to ask about this, but got no reply.
iCloud-locked iPhones have also been brought to Vietnam to be sold to the phone repair shops, which salvage the parts, such as screens, covers or connection portals. An iCloud-locked iPhone 5S can be bought for VND5 million in Vietnam, while the iPhone 5 is cheaper, at VND2.5 million.
Reuters some days ago reported that Vietnam has unexpectedly been named as the hottest market for Apple, with Apple's sales here increasing by three fold in just the first half of the current fiscal year.
The newswire has quoted its sources as reporting that the sales growth rate in Vietnam is five times higher than that of India, where Apple has spent big money in its competition for bigger market share.
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