Refurbished 'iPhone SE' appears in China

Some Chinese IT outlets have been providing services to refurbish iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S handsets to look like the new iPhone SE ahead of its official global launch.
Written by Cyrus Lee, Contributor

Ahead of the global launch of Apple's iPhone SE on March 31, some IT outlets in China have been producing fake iPhone SE handsets from the earlier iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S models, according to reports from Hong Kong media.

For only 60 yuan ($9.30) in an IT outlet in Huaqiangbei, Shenzhen -- the well-known electronics and parts market selling some never-released electronic products -- the shop owner will engrave the letters "SE" on your iPhone shell and process it to look exactly the same as the new budget iPhone, according to the reports.

Many private outlets in the area have also lifted recalled prices for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S, which are believed to be utilized as raw materials for making the fakes, the reports added.

Regarded as an electronics destination in the country for tech savvies, IT outlets in Huaqiangbei area are also notorious for selling second-hand products as brand new ones, as well as knock-off products at very low prices. The reports warn consumers to look out for the iPhone SE in the area in the future as they could easily be refurbished fakes.

Preorders of the new iPhone SE have exceeded 3.4 million units in the country, better than estimations made by Wall Street, according to a Sina news report on Tuesday.

However, this unofficial data was drawn from the country's major online retailers such as JD.com and Tmall marketplace platform, and could be misleading as some of these retailers do not require consumers to put money down for preorders.

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