Two Chinese students studying in Oregon, the US, allegedly scammed Apple out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in iPhone replacements and are now facing criminal charges in federal court, as reported by The Oregonian.
Yangyang Zhou and Quan Jiang are Chinese students who were studying engineering at Oregon State University and Linn Benton Community College on student visas. Outside of classes, they were busy importing fake smartphones from Hong Kong. They sent each iPhone to Apple store either by mail or in person, claiming that their model is not working or doesn’t turn on, to avail a brand new iPhone as part of Apple’s replacement policy “no questions asked”.
The Verge reports that the two college students were so profitable at this scam that it has cost Apple $895,800 in new iPhones, in a time span of two years. Jiang reportedly submitted over 3,000 warranty claims and as a result, Apple granted almost 1,500 replacement iPhones. According to an estimate of $600 per phone, Apple lost nearly $900,000 from this scheme. The duo allegedly shipped the fakes into the US and sent the replacements they got out of the US.
They apparently were terrified when customs officers seized suspicious shipments bearing the Apple logo, the documents noted. The Cupertino tech giant sent Jiang cease-and-desist letters after he was identified as one of the alleged smugglers by December 2017, but later on, they were ignored by customs officials.
It’s interesting to note here how a huge tech company like Apple could allow such a scam. Possibly not being able to turn on the iPhone, Apple employees didn’t verify the authenticity of those iPhones. Also, Apple doesn’t require any proof of purchase for the warranty claim and it looks like Apple employees were just following procedure.
Smartphones have become a part of our everyday lives; We use them for communication, taking pictures, saving documents on the cloud, internet browsing and even as a power bank to charge other smartphones, basically we cannot live without our smartphones. Since the smartphone is now part of our lives it is advisable to buy a smartphone that will be the perfect fit for you but then, with the wide variety of smartphones available in the market it is never easy to decide which one to pick. It is always tough deciding the one that may suit our needs best.
Here’s a list of things you should consider before you decide to buy your next smartphone.
After Sales Services:
If you are buying any smartphone, the first thing you have to check is if it is launched in Ghana officially or not. Also make sure, the smartphone company has a service center nearby your location. So if anything goes wrong with your smartphone, you can fix it at its service center. At the time of purchasing ask for receipt and original company warranty card and make sure you are getting a device on the sealed packed box. It is better to buy a smartphone from showrooms rather than from mobile retail stores because I have heard that many retailer shops exchange original accessories from the box with duplicate one. Though you will get less discount, at showrooms compared to retailer stores, but you will be on a safe side and don’t have to worry if you are being scammed.Please do not go buying phones at the roadside all in the name of getting a good bargain you might end up worse off.
Build Quality And Design
Build is all about durability of a smartphone. The entire handset market is largely divided in two types of builds — metal and plastic.
There are some that even have glass-coated panels, but those are very limited. If you are one of those prone to dropping your smartphone, it’s advisable to go for a metal or a plastic built handset.
These can sustain drops from 2-3 feet, while glass-based handset are sure to shatter.
The definition of a good or bad smartphone design is highly subjective, but if you care about build quality and aesthetics, look for a metal or glass design, or a phone that offers both. There are some cheap handsets that have plastic bodies, but in general, we’d avoid them unless your top consideration is to save money. (One of the benefits of a glass back is that it enables the phone to provide wireless charging, but you should check to make sure that this feature is offered.)
If you’re concerned about durability, make sure your phone is water-resistant. A typical spec you’ll see is IP67, which means that the phone should be able to survive being submerged in 3 feet (about 1 meter) of water for 30 minutes. In other words, you won’t have to worry about your phone being damaged if it gets wet.
A handful of phones, such as the Moto Z2 Force, go the extra mile by featuring a shatterproof glass display. But at the very least, you should shop for a phone that has a Gorilla Glass display, which should protect your device from short drops (though a protective case will help with that, too).
A good phone needs a good processor which will help it translate to faster open times for apps, smoother gameplay and quicker photo editing, but you don’t have to pay attention to cores or clock speed. It’s better to look at the performance results in phone reviews, such as Geekbench, which measures overall performance, as well as real-world tests runs.
Apart from Apple,Samsung and Huawei who produce their own processors ,most smartphone producers depend on MediaTek and Qualcomm.smartphones that come with Qualcomm chipset as Qualcomm’s GPUs (Adreno) are always better than the GPUs found on MediaTek and Exynos chipset.
Among Android phones, the Snapdragon 835 and currently the 845 processor is the class-leading chip. It’s the processor to get if you want the best possible virtual-reality and gaming performance, as well as better efficiency, which translates to longer battery life.
The Snapdragon 600 series powers midtier smartphones, such as the Moto G5 Plus. These processors offer good overall performance, but don’t expect to play the most demanding games without lag, or to experience great VR.
Other CPU players include Huawei, whose octa-core Kirin processor provides advanced AI capabilities in the Mate 10 Pro. For instance, the camera is smart enough to recognize whether you’re shooting flowers or food in real time and adjusts its settings on the fly.
So if you are a heavy user who need to edit images/videos/documents online, play heavy games, stream videos or often use apps in split screen mode, then smartphones with Qualcomm Snapdragon, Samsung’s Exynos, Huawei’s Kirin should make multitasking fluid for you.
Light users will be happy with handsets that come with MediaTek processors.
RAM and Memory
Most people complains that their smartphones start getting lags after 3-4 months usage and the reason behind this is lack of enough RAM . If you have had your Android device for a while, you have probably started to notice some lag that wasn’t there before. Apps load a bit slower, menus take a bit longer to show up and you have probably installed more apps as you continue to use your device, some of which open at startup and run in the background. If you have installed a lot of apps that run in the background, they can consume CPU resources, fill up RAM, and slow down your device.If you are going to buy a smartphone please avoid buying phones with 1gb ram it will fail when you need it the most, if you are a light user 2gb ram will be good enough for you but if you are a heavy user then you have to get at least 3gb ram and above to be able to multitask fluidly.
Apps are becoming bigger and bigger and updates are also not getting any smaller so in order to avoid the usual “not enough memory syndrome ” avoid buying 8gb rom and 16gb rom devices they will fail you also , the least amount of memory on a phone in 2018 should be 32gb rom for standard devices and 64 for flagships.
Given that some games can easily take up more than 1GB of storage — not to mention how many high-res photos and videos smartphone owners are capturing — we highly recommend opting for as much internal storage as possible.
The minimum on most premium handsets these days is 32GB. We recommend 64GB if you shoot a lot of photos and video, and 128GB if you like to record 4K video and download a ton of games.
A microSD card can help expand your storage. It is available on many Android phones, but Apple’s phones don’t offer this option.
We are at a point in smartphone evolution where the camera matters more than the processor, especially considering most people use their phones as their primary shooters. More and more smartphones boast cameras with at least 12 megapixels, but don’t go by only that stat. Instead, pay attention to image quality, aperture, speed and features.
The Tecno Phantom and Infinix Zero 5 impress with their dual cameras on the back, offering a true 2x optical zoom and Portrait Mode for blurring out the background (adding a bokeh effect). The Infinix Zero 5 goes a step further with a camera on the front that enables Portraits.The Google Pixel 2 offers a Portrait Mode without dual cameras, as it leverages artificial intelligence and software to create the same effect with the rear and front cameras. But what impresses us even more is the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL’s low-light performance. The phone’s wide f/1.8 aperture (the lower the number, the wider the aperture), combined with Google’s advanced HDR technology, outgunned the latest iPhones indoors. When it comes to video, pay attention not just to the resolution but also the frame rate. 4K at 60 frames per second is considered cutting edge. But the stability of that footage is also key, so look for lenses that offer optical (and not digital) stabilization.
When buying a smartphone for pictures and videos smartphone, make sure your smartphone has Sony or Samsung’s Image sensors. Higher number of pixels mean that the size of the image is bigger, which becomes more sharper when seen on a small screen.
A photographer enthusiast might want a camera with 12 or 16MP sensor under f/2.0 or lower aperture for speedy shots even in low lights. A casual shooter can go by even with an 8MP 0r 12MP camera with f/2.0-f/2.2 aperture.
The size and resolution of display depends on how you use your smartphone. If you often stream videos, edit photos or videos, or download and view movies, then a smartphone display ranging from 5.5-inch to 6-inch, full-HD or QHD resolution should be good enough for you.
Anything larger than a 6-inch display not just makes the handset extra bulky, but also difficult to carry around. If you are a regular user and largely use the smartphone for checking emails, chatting and browsing social media apps, then anything from 5-inch to 5.5-inch HD or full-HD display handsets is perfect, so in choosing a display make sure the display comes with AMOLED or IPS LCD panel. The AMOLED screen produces more vibrant colors and deep back, whereas IPS LCD screen produces natural colors. If the display is 5inch or below 5inch, 720×1280 pixels resolution should be enough to produce sharp text. But if the display, then above 5 inches makes sure the resolution is a Full HD (1920×1080 pixels) or higher. Also, don’t forget to check viewing angles and brightness of the display before purchasing any smartphone.
The battery usage differs from user to user depending on the way he/she uses the smartphone.
If you want to be able to juice your phone up in a hurry, check to see whether your phone offers fast wireless charging. If you’re shopping for an Android phone, you might check that it supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0 (or an earlier version of the standard).
The latest iPhones also offer fast charging, but they come at a cost.
Removable batteries have fallen out of favor with most smartphone-makers, especially with more users demanding water resistance. But there are some benefits to this kind of design. Once your existing battery stops holding a charge for as long as it did when it was fresh, you can just swap in a new one without having to pay for a replacement service or a new phone.
If you are a heavy user and work on apps, play games, stream videos and more then go for a smartphone with at least 3500mAh battery or above. If you are an average or light user, a handset with 3000mAh battery would be good enough to run for a full day.
OS TYPE :IOS OR ANDROID
Android dominates worldwide smartphone sales, and for good reason. You will find many more choices than iOS when it comes to design, display size, specs, capabilities and price. Plus, Android is an open OS, which means it’s easier to customize with awesome launchers and widgets.
With the latest version of Android 8.0 Oreo, Google now offers faster performance, a picture-in-picture feature for having two apps open at once and Notification Dots to quickly see what’s new.
However, when a new version of Android arrives, it can take several months (or longer) for the updated OS to hit your phone. There are two exceptions to this: Google’s own Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones, which get security and software updates directly from Google. Otherwise, check to see if the phone maker has announced when (and if) it’s planning to upgrade its devices to the latest version of Android.
All of the latest iPhones as well as older handsets like the iPhone SE — run the latest version of Apple’s operating system. iOS 11 offers several enhancements, including a more useful Control Center, editing of Live Photos, a real files app (finally) and a redesigned app store.
The biggest reasons to opt for an iOS device include its ease of use, access to OS updates as soon as they’re available (unlike most Android phones) and ability to work seamlessly with Apple devices (such as the iPhone and the Mac). iOS is also more secure than Android.
Apple’s App Store tends to get the hottest apps and games before Android, partly because developers have an easier time targeting a smaller set of devices that have similar specs, so when buying a smartphone it is advisable to buy an OS you are comfortable with but do not buy based on hearsay or what is trending.For frequent OS updates apple is ahead of android; apple supports a device with up to 4 years of update support whilst android devices like the pixel series enjoy up 2 years updates support whilst android devices take time due to OEM’S lackadaisical attitude .
Fingerprint vs. Facial Recognition Security
A fingerprint sensor makes it fairly easy to unlock your phone without having to enter a password or PIN. Most of these devices are fairly fast but can get tripped up if you have sweat or crumbs on your fingers.
We would pay attention to the placement of the sensor when buying a phone. For instance, LG places its sensor in the middle on the back of its phones, while Samsung’s sensor is awkwardly located next to the camera on the Galaxy S8 and the Note 8.
The iPhone’s Touch ID lets you buy items in the App Store and real-world goods via Apple Pay, while fingerprint sensors in Samsung phones can be used with the Samsung Pay service or Android Pay. Once reserved for higher-end phones, fingerprint sensors are now included in much more affordable phones like the Infinix and Tecno .
Thanks to Face ID in the iPhone X, and the face scanning and iris scanning in Samsung’s devices, facial recognition is starting to gain momentum. We’ve found Face ID in particular to be reliable in bright sunlight and in the dark, but it’s a bit slower than Touch ID.
Headphone jack/USB port
Ports too can be a factor to consider. Although both micro-USB and USB Type-C ports are available in smartphones these days, it is preferable to switch to USB Type-C not just because it is easy to plug in but also it is future-proof.
More number of smartphones have started incorporating the new standard. Few have started ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack as well but there might be good two years before all the OEMs completely switched to USB Type-C based headphones jacks.
Speakers and the quality of audio coming out of it can be an important parameter for those who rely on heavy video streaming or video conferences. If you like entertainment-on-the-go, buy a handset that has front-facing speakers. This gives clear sound even while holding the smartphone in landscape mode.
If you don’t indulge in video streaming or video conferencing much, then a regular handset with bottom-firing speakers should be just fine. Those with speakers placed at the back are also fine.
What’s Most Important To You?
Battery? The camera? Overall cost? You need to decide what you want from a phone and have clear objectives and ideas about how you’re going to be using it. Think about what you use most in your every day-to-day life already.
Most people don’t NEED a flagship, really, they just like having them for the prestige. This is why phones are marketed so heavily, they want you to think you need them and cannot live without all that new stuff.
Do you want it to have it all? If so, look at the flagships – these are always the best performers in all respects.
Do You Even Need A Smartphone?
Do you only use your phone for making calls and sending text messages? If so, you might need a feature phone that has INSANE battery life (and not much else).
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