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New York Entrepreneur Launches High-Profit iPhone Conversion Startup
Published on Nov 24, 2010
Read 'New York Entrepreneur Launches High-Profit iPhone Conversion Startup' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
Earlier this week, the New York Observer ran a story about Fei "Phil" Lam, a 17-year-old self-professed "computer geek" from Queens, New York, who has been making a killing through his startup site WhiteiPhone4Now.com.
The one-man operation, which was launched only four months ago, sells white iPhone 4 conversion kits imported directly from manufacturers in China. The high school senior has already sold up to $130,000 worth of parts, with profits ranging up to $40,000.
Following the viral coverage of the story, the site has become overwhelmed with traffic and new customers. More importantly, it has possibly caught the unfavorable attention of iPhone maker Apple.
Earlier this week, a self-proclaimed private investigator representing a trademark protection firm allegedly contacted Lam, asserting the young entrepreneur's operations violate Apple copyrights.
"I got an email from a private investigator accusing me of selling stolen goods, which I'm 100 percent sure is not the case," Lam told the Observer. "They are some kind of anti-counterfeit/trademark firm, which sounds ridiculous, similar to what Apple is bringing up to remove White iPhone 4 Listings on eBay. I don't know how this legal stuff works."
Lam's startup tends to reflect the dual nature of the typical American entrepreneur: ambitious yet somewhat untrained in business law. Nonetheless, entrepreneurs starting a company should recognize the value in forming an LLC or other business entity in order to protect their business assets.