For 17-year-old Fei Lam, the months of anticipation (and overhyped announcements like today's) were too much to wait for Apple's much-rumored white iPhone 4. Rather than be delayed by Steve Jobs' penchant for suspense, Lam, a high school senior from Queens, decided to give fans what they wanted—and made more than $130,000 in the process.
According to The Observer, Lam realized there could be big money in getting white iPhone 4 parts early, and he made attempts to skip Apple and directly contact the company's controversial supplier, Foxconn.
"I knew a guy from a few years back that had somewhat of a relationship with folks in Foxconn," Lam, who speaks fluent Chinese, told The Observer.
After arranging orders for parts to make a white iPhone 4 conversion kit, Lam created WhiteiPhone4Now.com, which offers the parts for between $135 and $279. The site soon went viral thanks to the tech blogosphere, and Lam made a killing. Since August alone, he's pulled in more than $130,000 from selling the white conversion kits, according to The Observer.
The question now is whether Apple will take notice of Lam's operation, and whether there are any potential legal consequences. Apple is notoriously protective of its products—and rightfully so. Steve Jobs' product unveilings earn the company millions of dollars in free advertising. So it was no surprise that after its original iPhone 4 leaked, the company tried every possible route to take legal action against Gawker.
But until that same recouse comes to Lam, Apple fanboys, as his site boasts, won't "have to wait until spring of 2011" for the white iPhone 4.