TIME Tech

Tech Firms Desert Powerful Right-Wing Group After Climate Change Spat

Silicon Valley distances itself from the American Legislative Exchange Council

Google wasn’t the first major tech company to leave powerful conservative activist organization the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) over its position on climate change, but it seems to have been the one that set the other dominoes falling.

After Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said Monday that the company would no longer support the group, which opposes environmental regulations and has said climate change could be “beneficial,” Yahoo, Facebook and Yelp all issued statements indicating that, for unspecified reasons, their memberships in the group would be allowed to expire.

Microsoft had already quit the organization in August, according to the liberal group Common Cause which monitors ALEC, after a Boston-based investment group raised questions about the company’s support in light of ALEC’s opposition to federal renewable energy programs.

The group is known for creating model legislation that promotes free market and conservative policies, which it then works to pass in state legislatures around the country. On energy policies, it has sponsored initiatives to curb the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency and opposed federal programs aimed at increasing the production of energy from renewable sources.

It has been extraordinarily effective at getting legislation passed, particularly in the last several years, and has become a favorite target of progressive groups, much like the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers, who are themselves reputed to be major ALEC supporters. ALEC did not respond to multiple requests for comment from TIME. In response to news that Google would be pulling its support, ALEC CEO Lisa Nelson said in a statement, “It is unfortunate to learn Google has ended its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council as a result of public pressure from left-leaning individuals and organizations who intentionally confuse free market policy perspectives for climate change denial.”

The most recent wave of departing Silicon Valley companies haven’t explained their decisions to leave ALEC, but the news comes after intense lobbying from liberal and environmental organizations. “We reevaluate our memberships on an annual basis, and are in that process now,” Facebook said in a statement. “While we have tried to work within ALEC to bring that organization closer to our view on some key issues, like net neutrality, it seems unlikely that we will make sufficient progress and so will be unlikely to renew our membership in 2015.”

Similar spurts have happened in the past. According to records kept by ALEC watchdog The Center for Media and Democracy, in 2012 both Coca-Cola and Pepsi announced a parting of ways with ALEC. The same year McDonald’s announced it was revoking support for the group and Pepsi followed the next day with an announcement that it too had cut ties with the group.

The Guardian reported in 2013 that ALEC was facing a “funding crisis” following the departures of a number of member firms.

TIME Security

Experts Say ‘Bash’ Bug Is a Major Vulnerability But Not a Major Threat

computer virus
Getty Images

Cybersecurity experts explain why the Bash bug might actually not be as risky as the Heartbleed bug discovered earlier this year

When the Heartbleed software bug was disclosed in April, there was no shortage of publicizing its risks and defensive measures—and for good reason. And the Bash bug, discovered Wednesday, is prompting similar widespread fear. The security flaw is named after a vulnerable piece of software, Bash, that’s built into several ubiquitous operating systems, including Apple’s Mac OS X.

“People were taking Heartbleed very seriously,” said Jim Reavis, CEO of cybersecurity firm Cloud Security Alliance. “If people don’t take Bash seriously, it’ll become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Cybersecurity experts like Reavis don’t doubt that the Bash bug is dangerous: it is, and it needs urgent attention. The afflicted Bash software, released in 1989, is an open source software that was built-in to Linux and Mac OS operating systems and then widely integrated into many corporate and personal computer programs, experts said. Preliminary estimates say it could impact up to 50 percent of Internet-connected servers, according to Darien Kindlund, director of threat research at FireEye, a network security company.

“Bash is yet another type of open source software that has been reused, repurposed,” Kindlund said.

But the threat posed by the Bash bug—it could theoretically remotely command computers and extract private information—is overblown, cybersecurity experts told TIME. Average computer users aren’t likely to be directly targeted by hackers, experts said. And for the vulnerability to be triggered, the attacker would need to deliver content to the user, and then get the user to execute Bash with that content, according to Kindlund. Normal web browsing, emailing or other common activities do not involve calling Bash. What average users should be worried about are more traditional hacking techniques, like phishing emails and links to malicious websites, said John Gunn of VASCO Data Security.

“There are so many other methods that have a high degree of success that would take priority over [Bash as a hacking tool],” Gunn said. “The vulnerability really exists for large organizations that may have servers running Linux.”

Companies who have web servers that aren’t updated internally on a frequent basis may be most at risk because they continue to use old technology, according to Kindlund. Some companies who still store private data on Internet-facing servers—an outdated practice, as it makes sensitive information more vulnerable—or do not have strong security may vulnerable as well, but they can take precautions by inspecting each and every of their Linux-based servers, said Tanuj Gulati, CTO of Securonix, a security intelligence firm.

“The Apples or the Amazons or the Googles of the world aren’t the ones I’m worried about the most,” Reavis said. “But it could be some big companies that use this technology, but simply don’t have an awareness budget, or not taking this seriously.”

Still, many companies already have protection mechanisms in place that would prevent Bash from inflicting significant harm. Most servers can detect anomalous traffic and behavior, and many already take precautionary efforts by keeping records offline where they are inaccessible, Gunn said.

“What this Bash vulnerability depends on is a lot of other failures,” Gunn added. “This isn’t a single point of failure, whereas in Heartbleed, it was.”

Numerous patches for the Bash bug have already flooded the market. While security researchers have claimed the patches are incomplete, experts agree that fully fixing the vulnerability would take years. Additionally, that there have not been any known major breaches using Bash has also boosted security experts’ confidence that the bug may not pose a widespread threat.

“Most vulnerabilities of value are either shared or sold in the hacking community,” Gunn said. “If this had been a viable hacking method, it would’ve been exchanged in the hacking community, and it has not.”

But fact that Bash may not pose a major threat to individuals or companies doesn’t mean its danger should be understated, experts agreed.

“You saw a lot of worry about [Heartbleed], and there really wasn’t much that happened. The economy didn’t grind to a halt. Cities didn’t black out,” said James Lewis, director of the Strategic Technologies Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It’s a vulnerability. A flaw.”

 

TIME iPhone 6

Apple Defends Against Allegations of Bending iPhone 6 Plus

Only nine customers have formally complained, Apple said

Following days of silence, Apple is defending the new iPhone 6 Plus against allegations that it bends easily. The company told The Wall Street Journal that only nine customers have contacted Apple to complain about a bent iPhone 6 Plus. Both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus passed requisite stress tests that mimicked normal use, Apple said.

In videos and on social media, some iPhone 6 Plus owners have claimed they can bend the device in their pockets or even in their hands. The issue, now known as “Bendgate” or “Bendgazi” online, is just one headache Apple is dealing with this week. Wednesday the company pulled an update to iOS 8 after customers complained that the new software was causing problems with cellular service and Touch ID. Apple later apologized for the faulty update and issued directions for users to revert to the original iOS 8 software.

The mix of bad news has put a beating on Apple’s stock, which fell more than 3% in trading Thursday, dipping well below $100 per share, though other tech companies have also had rough days on the market.

Apple did not immediately respond to TIME’s request for comment.

[WSJ]

 

TIME Iran

Twitter Chief Trolls Iranian President on Twitter

Newest Innovations In Consumer Technology On Display At 2014 International CES
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo speaks during the Brand Matters keynote address at the 2014 International CES at The Las Vegas Hotel and Casino on Jan. 8, 2014 in Las Vegas. Ethan Miller—Getty Images

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo called out Hassan Rouhani over Iran's official Twitter ban

Dick Costolo, the CEO of Twitter, has a bone to pick with Iran: you can’t use Twitter there.

And on Thursday, Costolo tweeted at Iranian President Hassan Rouhani—currently in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly—with a Twitter burn for the ages:

With access to Twitter and Facebook officially banned in the Islamic Republic, Iranians have to find other ways to bypass the state’s Internet filtering system. That’s if they’re not the country’s president, who is a prolific tweeter and apparently has unfettered access to the social network. But Costolo’s tweet isn’t just a muted form of digital social activism; it’s a pragmatic defense of his company’s business interests in Iran.

Rouhani doesn’t appear to have responded yet to Costolo’s tweet, which may be because it’s just too hard to come back from a tweet like that.

TIME FindTheBest

The Top 10 Smartphones on the Market for Fall 2014

With all the reviews in for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, it’s time to take stock of the larger smartphone battlefield. At FindTheBest, we compiled specs, features and ratings for every smartphone on the market to determine the top 10 phones today. Here’s the methodology:

35% Tech Specs

Made up of 18 different specifications for each phone, including max video resolution, camera optics, pixel density, weight, RAM, megapixels, talk time and more.

33% Expert Ratings

Includes reviews from publications that post numerical scores. These include WIRED, PCWorld, PC Magazine, CNET and Laptop Mag.

26% Features

Can the phone charge wirelessly? Does it come with an FM Receiver? Is it water resistant? Can it do NFC payments? The more capabilities, the better.

6% Performance Benchmarks

Lastly, how does the phone perform using a handful of benchmarks, like Geekbench for overall performance and DxOMark for camera quality?

Here’s the list, followed by the biggest takeaways:

Biggest Takeaways

Year-old phones are still winners…as long as they’re flagship models

Over 120 smartphones have been released this year, yet four 2013 handsets remain in our top ten. The reason? The flagship phones from Apple, Samsung, LG, HTC and Sony are simply a cut above the rest of the industry. These manufacturers know how much of their bottom lines ride on hit devices, so they pour most of their resources into one or two handsets per year.

For this reason, saving $100 by selecting a year-old phone is no longer a terrible idea. A Galaxy S4 or iPhone 5S is still a solid buy, and it’s certainly better than that budget Motorola at the Verizon store.

For the very best phones, release date matters

Once we get to the best of the best, however, release date does matter. There’s one big reason the iPhones outrank their rivals: Apple’s handsets are newer. Consider that the M8, S5 and G3 were released in March, April and May, respectively. Apple had all summer to pack in the latest tech and to gauge customer reaction to its competitor’s phones. Expect all three manufacturers to retake the lead as soon as they release their next products.

With this in mind, discerning smartphone buyers might consider following this principle: Just buy whatever the latest release is from a top manufacturer. If you’ve already bought into the iOS or Android ecosystem, it’s a different story, of course. But if you’re ready to start fresh, look for whichever top brand released a flagship phone most recently. Right now, that’s the iPhone 6. In a couple of months, that could be the Sony Xperia Z3. Early next year, that’ll likely be the Galaxy S6.

Bigger really is better…sometimes

Glance over our top 10 with screen size in mind, and you’ll find some inconsistencies. For the iPhone, smaller is better, with the 6 edging out the 6 Plus. For the Galaxy? The 5.7-inch Note 3 is still our #1 Samsung device, besting the 5.1-inch Galaxy S5. What’s going on?

The difference comes down to the intangibles, which are best captured in the expert reviews. While experts loved both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, they had a slight preference for the smaller device. To reviewers, the 6 Plus often felt like something new and interesting, but the 6 felt familiar and intuitive—enough to push it ahead of its bigger brother (despite inferior battery life).

For Samsung, things went the other way. The Note 3 was revolutionary, while the Galaxy S5 was evolutionary. Experts loved the stylus-equipped Note 3 for its size, audacity and productivity—a new landmark for big-screen handsets. The S5, while solid, didn’t captivate reviewers the same way.

So in the end, who really knows what the right screen size is? Perhaps smartphone size is more art than science.

Microsoft can’t crack the top ten

Microsoft’s Lumia line continues to miss the top 10 (the same thing happened when we did this exercise last year). It’s the honorable mention that’s increasingly more mention than honor. Experts continue to hit all the usual beats: The Windows interface is clever, but iOS and Android are more mature. The camera takes superb photos, but the app selection is weak.

Microsoft is planning a big rebrand this holiday season (dropping “Nokia” and “Windows Phone”), but unless the company coaxes more developers and customers from Android and iOS, it’ll have trouble sniffing the top 10. And at this rate, it’ll drop out of the top 20 soon (currently, our top two Lumias sit at #19 and #21).

China is knocking on the door

Take a look just outside our top 10, and it’s the Xiaomi Mi 4—not a Lumia phone—that threatens to disrupt the top 10 next year. The red-hot Chinese manufacturer already beats all of its rivals on price, and its specs are right in line with the best handsets on the market. The only remaining question: How long will it take for Xiaomi to come to the US?

Final Recommendations

If you want the best phone right now….

grab the iPhone 6.

If you want a great phone on a budget…

…get the Samsung Galaxy S4 or LG Nexus 5 — a year old, but still excellent.

If you’re willing to wait…

…a few months, get the Sony Xperia Z3.

…until next year, get the Samsung Galaxy S6.

If you want a fully unlocked phone with all the latest technology for ~$450…

…move to China, and get the Xiaomi Mi 4.

This article was written for TIME by Ben Taylor of FindTheBest.

TIME Companies

Lyft Is Giving Rides to Baseball Fans During the Playoffs

Lyft Gives Up Pink Mustaches To Challenge Uber In New York City
The Lyft Inc. application (app) is demonstrated on an Apple Inc. iPhone 5s for an arranged photograph in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Lyft will offer rides during the playoffs

Lyft announced Thursday that it will partner with Major League Baseball as the official ride for fans, just in time for the playoffs.

The ride will offer car-sharing services to 74 million fans for safe transport to and from ballparks during the 2014 Postseason, which begins Tuesday, Sept. 30, through the entire 2015 MLB season, according to a press release. During that time, Lyft and MLB will offer free ride giveaways and special promotions for the playoffs in October.

MLB hosts over 2,000 baseball events per year, more games than any other professional league. The partnership will give Lyft, which has rapidly expanded across the U.S. this year as a competitor to Uber and other rival services, a shot to further establish greater traction in the ride-sharing industry as it and other players navigate complex regulatory hurdles to entering new markets.

TIME legal

Iowa to Tesla: Stop Test-Driving Your Cars in Our State

A logo of Tesla Motors on an electric car model is seen outside a showroom in New York
A logo of Tesla Motors on an electric car model is seen outside a showroom in New York on June 28, 2010. Shannon Stapleton—Reuters

Iowa's DOT recently put the kibosh on a three-day Tesla Motors test drive in the state capital.

If you want to check out one of Tesla’s newfangled electric rides before buying one, you can add Iowa to the list of states to steer clear of.

That’s because Iowa’s transportation department is telling Tesla Motors to stop offering test drives in the state because doing so is illegal, reports the Des Moines Register. Iowa’s DOT apparently said the test drives–conducted by Tesla in West Des Moines earlier this month–were illegal because Tesla isn’t a licensed auto dealer in Iowa, and that state law bans auto manufacturers from selling vehicles directly to consumers.

Trouble is, Tesla doesn’t sell through traditional franchise outlets, and the company has no franchises dealer relationships anywhere in the U.S. If you want to buy one of billionaire Elon Musk’s ballyhooed electric super-cars, you have to transact directly with the company. Unless you’re filthy rich and/or casually profligate, that’s going to be a tall order for most buyers, considering the base price on a Tesla Model S starts in the $70,000 range and surges by tens of thousands from there.

Note that driving Tesla cars in Iowa is perfectly legal. It’s just the test-driving or selling through a storefront part that’s the problem.

Forbidding car makers from selling directly to the public sounds odd, but in fact auto manufacturers are prohibited from selling directly to consumers in nearly every state. In Texas, for instance, Tesla has two show galleries, one in Houston and another in Austin, but as Tesla itself notes on its website:

In an effort to comply with the current laws, employees at these galleries are prevented from discussing pricing and the reservation process. This includes any discussion on financing, leasing, or purchasing options. Also, galleries cannot offer test drives. The store’s interactive kiosks are also amended to remove pricing. Lastly, we are unable to refer the customer to another store out of state. This puts Tesla at a serious disadvantage and inhibits our ability to reduce misconceptions and educate people about Electric Vehicles and the technology. Furthermore, people are forced to leave the gallery frustrated, lacking sufficient information about the car and the brand.

There may be a political element to the kerfuffle as well: the Register notes franchise auto dealers in states around the country have worked with dealers associations to keep Tesla out, presumably threatened by Tesla’s unconventional sales model. In fact, it was Iowa’s Automobile Dealers Association that tipped the DOT off to Tesla’s test drives in West Des Moines, says the Register.

But not allowing auto manufacturers to sell directly to the public may be harming consumers, argues a 2009 competition-related advocacy report on the U.S. Department of Justice’s website. The paper advocates “eliminating state bans on direct manufacturer sales in order to provide automakers with an opportunity to reduce inventories and distribution costs by better matching production with consumer preferences,” and notes that economic arguments for states’ bans on direct auto sales that cite holdup or free-rider issues “are not persuasive because competition among auto manufacturers gives each manufacturer the incentive to refrain from opportunistic behavior and to work with its dealers to resolve any free-rider problems.”

TIME movies

Twitter’s New Ads for Movies Will Target You Based On What You Tweet About

Guardians of the Galaxy
These guys are going to save the galaxy. Seriously. Marvel

The company says Twitter plays a big part in helping people decide what movies to see

Twitter wants to get you to the movies.

The company will begin testing targeted ads about movies in the next few months, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The program would display ads about a particular movie to users who have tweeted about similar movies or related keywords. For example, a campaign for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 might target fans already tweeting about the series, users who’ve tweeted about Divergent or, hypothetically, anybody making a joke about volunteering as tribute and having the odds ever in their favor.

“Our recent research shows that Twitter is major influence on movie choice,” Jeffrey Graham, global head of research at Twitter, told THR. “Not only are people hearing about new movies on Twitter, they are using it to make a decision about what to see, then sharing their experience with friends.”

The program would be hassle-free for studios — they would only provide the names of similar movies, while Twitter would figure out which users were already talking about them, even if they weren’t using the title specifically.

Twitter already has a similar program in place for television.

[THR]

TIME Smartphones

Apple Offers Fix for iPhones Affected by iOS 8 Problems

It's a process the company typically doesn't officially endorse

Apple posted an official fix for iPhone owners affected by problems with Wednesday’s iOS 8.0.1 update, which many users reported caused a total loss of cellular service as well as issues with Touch ID on iPhone models that support the feature. The tech giant pulled the update after complaints about those issues quickly spread over social media, but for many users it was too late.

Apple’s fix is essentially a way to revert affected iPhones back to iOS 8.0.0, a process the company typically doesn’t officially endorse.

From Apple’s support website:

Follow these steps to reinstall iOS 8.0.

  1. Make sure that you’re using the latest version of iTunes.
  2. Connect your iPhone to iTunes.
  3. Back up your iPhone in iTunes on your Mac or PC. iCloud backups won’t restore to earlier versions, including iOS 8.0.
  4. Download the file below that corresponds to your device:
  5. Select the file you just downloaded by doing one of these in iTunes:
    • Mac: Press the Option key and click Check for Update.
    • Windows: Press the Shift key and click Check for Update.
  6. Press Update to install iOS 8 on your iPhone.

The Health app won’t work in iOS 8 after these steps. It will be fixed in our upcoming iOS 8.0.2 software update.

The iOS 8.0.1 problems seem to only affect the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices. TIME installed the update on an iPhone 5C and experienced none of the reported issues. Apple told The Verge that it apologizes “for the great inconvenience experienced by users,” and promised to quickly issue an iOS 8.0.2 update that would fix the issues addressed by 8.0.1 without causing new problems in turn.

TIME Smartphones

The iPhone 6 Lines Weren’t Actually Filled With the ‘Chinese Mafia’

iPhone 6 Becomes Available In Hong Kong
People buying and reselling newly purchased iPhone 6 units during the launch of the new Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus on September 19, 2014 in Hong Kong. Lam Yik Fei—Getty Images

Chinese mobile tech experts say many ordinary people just wanted some extra cash

A video posted on YouTube Saturday showed what it claimed was the “Chinese mafia” camped outside Manhattan’s Apple Stores in anticipation of the first day of iPhone 6 sales on Sept. 19. Most of the front-of-line dwellers were old, spoke little English and declined to comment. Some slept on cardboard boxes. Others waited patiently on lawn chairs. One woman was even shown being arrested.

Since then, the footage has amassed nearly 2.5 million views, raising concerns about the foreign buyers, many of whom resold the iPhones at exorbitant prices in China, where the iPhone 6 is not yet on the market. The Chinese have “learned capitalism the wrong way,” according to one YouTube commenter. Or in the words of another commenter, those in line will “ship the phones back to China and make huge profits.”

There’s no disputing that there’s an underground market for iPhones, analysts who study China’s wireless market told TIME. But for most first-in-line buyers, the iPhone 6 gray market, while expansive, is far from what’s implied by a “Chinese mafia.” In reality, the process both stateside and overseas is much less of a structured, profitable operation.

In the U.S., many Chinese buyers crowding Apple Stores were likely from poor areas of major Chinatown areas, especially in New York and San Francisco, according to Linda Sui, an analyst at Strategy Analytics. “They need money. Most of them are low-income people,” Sui said.

Analysts agreed that in reality the U.S.-China iPhone 6 grey market trade was rather fragmented. Those who purchased the iPhone 6 in the U.S. often did not sell it directly to a customer. Rather, they connected through word of mouth with scalpers who were transporting the devices to China. These scalpers would then sell the iPhone units in China for a third time: a buy, resell and re-resell.

“In Chinatown, there are small circles, so many people know each other,” Sui said.

Carl Howe, an analyst with 451 Research LLC, estimated that these first-in-line buyers—many who waited days for the iPhone 6 to go on sale—will make “whatever the market will pay.” That’s only a few hundred dollars of profit after selling an iPhone 6 in the U.S. for about $1,000. Sui estimated that the maximum profit was only around $300 to $400 for the hours spent camping outside.

But once the phones arrive in China, where Apple has still not confirmed a release date for the iPhone 6, they could be sold for up to nearly $3,000 due to high demand, according to several reports. “I have around 200 pre-orders with 60 to 70% of these from mainland Chinese customers,” phone reseller Gary Yiu told AFP days before the iPhone 6 launched. Yiu said the 128GB gold iPhone 6 Plus could be resold for over $2,580 immediately after release.

“Nowadays I think it’s a lucrative enough business that there are literally gray market wholesalers,” Howe said.

Unlike stateside first-in-line buyers who just wanted a bit of quick cash, many Asian wholesalers had decidedly less innocent motives. iPhone wholesalers tend to be small businesses, and they hire or transport people to wait in line in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Australia—countries in the first batch to receive the iPhone 6—before illegally smuggling them into mainland China to avoid import taxes, according to Bryan Wang, a Beijing-based analyst at Forrester Research.

“In Singapore, what [organized groups] do is they hire people to queue up for the whole night,” Wang said. “These folks got $130 in cash for being there overnight.”

Still, while there’s certainly a small-scale, organized iPhone trade, the buzz in the U.S. and Asia has obscured the fact that transactions in the underground market aren’t as fluid or clear-cut as they seem, analysts said. Getting the iPhones back to China, for example, isn’t as simple as making a cash payment. The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported Tuesday that authorities seized 600 iPhone 6 units from people attempting to smuggle the phones from Hong Kong to the neighboring Chinese city of Shenzhen to avoid paying electronics duties of up to 50%. Forrester Research estimated that two years ago, 70% of iPhones sold in Hong Kong were trafficked to China. Border security in Hong Kong has tightened up, according to the SCMP, which also published images of concealed iPhones.

There are also technical issues with using a foreign-bought iPhone 6 in China, according to analysts. They suspect the iPhone 6’s initial launch precluded China because Apple and China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology were sorting out discrepancies between China’s network and foreign networks. As it stands, some foreign-bought iPhone 6 models will either work at slow speeds or not at all in China, a fact that may have eluded Chinese buyers of resold iPhones.

“There’s actually 18-20 different iPhone 6 models built to satisfy different requirements,” Howe said. “I doubt there’s a whole lot of full disclosure [in the market].”

Perhaps the most surprising look into China’s underground iPhone 6 market is that many of its participants—even on the reselling side—are ordinary individuals hoping to score some pocket money, not organized groups.

Wang said he has friends with stable jobs who still participate in iPhone buying and reselling just to make some extra money. His nephew, a student in Sydney, Australia, queued up for over 12 hours to obtain an iPhone 6, like many other Chinese students studying abroad in countries selling Apple’s newest smartphones, and then immediately sold it. Young students also participated as smugglers, and many were caught at China’s border, according to the SCMP.

The gray market will continue insofar as the demand remains, analysts said, especially as Apple has established itself as a premium, luxury brand, even if it’s not China’s best selling smartphone. “In Chinese, we call [the buyers of re-sold iPhones] tuhao, which means less educated, newly rich people,” Wang said. “Basically, they just want to be the first one get the devices.”

“If you look at the legitimate market, which model is selling well?” Sui said. “Then you’re going to find it in the smuggled market as well.”

 

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser