iPhone 4 in Malaysia

I’m glad I got the time to write a post after such a long time. It’s been very hectic since I got back from holiday. There was so many little things I wanted to blog about but never got the chance. However this is something I definitely want to share.

So we were at the Aviary at KL enjoying the wonderful collection of birds (not something you wanna miss if you go to KL) and one of my friends who had gone shopping in KL rings me up and gives me a shocking news. He is standing at a electronic store holding on to a iPhone 4 which is priced at RM 1100.00 (approx. USD350). Now I know this doesn’t sound right but at the meantime part of me wants to believe it is real. So I go on about inquiring further about the device to confirm the validity. As he speaks the form-factor, the behavior, applications and everything else seem to fit the criteria of a iPhone 4. So I had to see this. We decided to head there right after the Aviary.

So once we got out of the aviary we headed straight to the mall Kota Raya. On they way we were discussing of how many phones we should be buying and how we should be distributing them once we are back home. So we get to the mall which is a fairly cheap looking one filled with tiny kiosks selling only phones. So our friend takes us to the specific kiosk where there are plenty of phone on display and there it was the iPhone 4. Looked perfect, the exact form-factor, had the “Designed in California” print on it, had all the default iPhone apps, all working fine. Behavior looks normal and I was getting excited by the minute. I went on checking, except for the font being different I honestly couldn’t see any difference. The guy at the store confirmed that it was a original iPhone 4 more than once. So I was ready to buy 5 pieces for me and my friends and we wanted to pay by credit card.

While the guy was trying to figure out how to charge us since he didn’t have the credit card facility, and the meantime I wanted to check the firmware version of the iPhone. So I went into the “Settings” and then “General” and was looking for the “About” section and it didn’t seem to be there. I looked again wondering I was looking in the wrong place and no it wasn’t there. Then I went into the “App Store” app to see if that works and it didn’t, it loaded something else. All my excitement turned off like a spill of water in the fireplace. The store guy was trying to convince me saying that was because I didn’t have wifi on. But he was done fooling me by now cos I started to see the rest of the discrepancies. The icons inside the settings section were different and the screen was clearly not a Retina Display. The sim holder was very visible to the eye unlike in a real iPhone 4. So when I told the store guy that I was not going to buy it cos it particularly didn’t look legitimate, the guy almost started a fight with me making it a scene 😀

However all these added up to just one thing. We were on a wild goose chase! It should have been pretty obvious when it was too good to be true. A iPhone 4 cannot be probably even made for USD400. I kept wondering how many of the tourists may be getting played by this everyday. Later when I got back to the room I googled “iPhone 4 copy” and found tons of explanations and links of fake and copy products for much cheaper prices. There was even one saying “Why pay more when you can by for $85”.

Conclusion: When you are buying something for a unbelievably low price (not just iPhones) think twice.

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