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This Is What Happens To Your Discarded iPhone

Illustration for article titled This Is What Happens To Your Discarded iPhone
Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

Have you ever wondered what happens to a discarded iPhone? Does it crackle in the sun? Does it wallow in the electronic filth until its battery leaks and runs? Maybe it just sits there like a dusty brick. Or maybe, just maybe, it breathes life anew in the land of China.

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As we have posted before, the Apple iPhone is very popular in China. There is a healthy second-hand market for iPhones. According to China's ITHome.com, a technology blog and news site, photos posted online showcase some of the seedier elements of the secondhand iPhone trade.

Illustration for article titled This Is What Happens To Your Discarded iPhone
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Illustration for article titled This Is What Happens To Your Discarded iPhone

According to itHome, many of the iPhones sold in China online as new are refurbished models but they aren't officially refurbished, but rather, are made to look new through the black magic that is China's gray market. Some of the machines come from all over the world but most come from the United States, Japan, or Hong Kong. Because the machines are purchased on the low end, many of the machines are either heavily scuffed or have broken parts such as shattered screens.

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The broken nature of these phones doesn't bother the Chinese gray market techs. The machines are stripped down and paired with after market parts. After the machines are put together and ready for sale, the gray market merchants repackage said phones; the packaging is so good that the refurbished phones even come with new serial number stickers.

Illustration for article titled This Is What Happens To Your Discarded iPhone
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Illustration for article titled This Is What Happens To Your Discarded iPhone
Illustration for article titled This Is What Happens To Your Discarded iPhone
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Illustration for article titled This Is What Happens To Your Discarded iPhone
Illustration for article titled This Is What Happens To Your Discarded iPhone
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Illustration for article titled This Is What Happens To Your Discarded iPhone
Illustration for article titled This Is What Happens To Your Discarded iPhone
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled This Is What Happens To Your Discarded iPhone

震惊,网友揭秘深圳iPhone翻新过程(多图)[ITHome.com]

Kotaku East is your slice of Asian Internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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Eric is a Beijing based writer and all around FAT man. You can contact him @FatAsianTechie@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @FatAsianTechie

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DISCUSSION

OliverAdam
Oliverandm

I'm happy to see that it doesn't go (completely) to waste.

It does shock me though, that i'm seeing so many iPhone 4's. I honestly cringe a little, when relatively new tech is dismissed like that. It's not that i'm living in a dirthold, eating only what nature provides me. I'm a damn sinner too, I just think we have a serious problem in the west, especially when it comes to household tech. It's not even global warming that's on my mind, it's just our tendencies to chew through ressources like there's no tommorow.

I guess some would say "well when there's a demand", but that's not entirely fair. The average consumer has no idea how things are working. Here's an example: i'm writing from a 2008 macbook (not pro, so it's a weak computer by today standards... already was back then), and because i haven't updated it to a new (and more unstable mind you) OS, i can't update my iTunes, and because i can't update iTunes, it won't work with my iPhone 5. Heck there's a lot of websites i'm having issues with. Kotaku is already tough on this computer, because of the gifs all over the place. This is how they get to you. An average consumer, who has no interest 'nor knowledge as to how anything work in the slightest, would probably consider their product broken, and while it technically isn't... it is. I mean it's not working as intended, though it quite possibly could. But everything moves too quick, and they deliberately outdate your shit, so you think you have to buy something new.

I leave you with this magical quote by Bill Burr, after he rants about Steve Jobs and how revered he was: "New phone can't fit the old charger - this is your hero?"...

Ps: I'm writing a paper on all of this right as we speak, so that's probably why i just felt like ranting a bit, i know people in here are aware of this, i wasn't trying to be some holy shit.