I guess, according to App Chronicles, iDevice smuggling in China isn't a new thing.
But this case was pretty novel.
An elderly woman tried to cross the border from Hong Kong to Shenzhen with over 200 iPhones. So how did she attempt to get them past the wily guards? In recyclables.
Since poverty is pretty widespread in China – hence the ongoing demand for factory jobs – transporting that amount of bottles is not all that surprising. What was surprising is that since the iPhones wouldn't fit through the mouth of the beer bottles selected, each bottle was carefully split in the middle, iPhone inserted and then sealed up with clear tape.
When officials spotted the tape, however, and noticed the wildly varying weights to the “empty” bottles, the whole lot of the contraband was found and seized.
The most interesting part, to me, is how this is a money-making scheme for anyone? How do the goods increase in value across borders?
Either way it's an interesting side to the Chinese situation for Apple.