Last November Betabeat broke the story of Fei Lam, an enterprising young teenager from Queens who built a business selling white iPhone 4 conversion kits.
Now the white iPhone is finally out and Fei Lam’s business is no more. In fact, he shut it down after Apple’s first cease-and-desist letter. But Apple isn’t finished. Yesterday Apple filed suit against Fei Lam.
Betabeat has been chatting with Fei Lam over the past few months. “They gave me options,” Lam said. “If I do everything they say, they might not [pursue a case], but they also want all the profit, which I didn’t expect.”
Lam says he may not bring a lawyer to his meeting with Apple. “The lawyer fee alone is becoming a tremendous burden. I spoke to Woz a little, so hopefully he can do something about it.” Wozniak is a proud owner of one of Fei Lam’s white iPhones.
The lawsuit also names Fei Lam’s parents as defendants. “They have no idea what my business was,” says Lam, who moved to the United States when he was 9. Lam bought components billed as replacement parts from a supplier in China and had the units shipped directly to customers homes.
Since shutting down whiteiPhone4now.com, Lam has been working on a startup, similarinterests.org, a social web application for connecting users with shared likes. “I’m very thankful,” he said of the money he made on the iPhones. “For months I was struggling for an idea that would bootstrap my first startup and help pay for college.”