An iPhone 14 upgrade for $82, because looks matter

By Luu Quy   October 14, 2022 | 05:00 pm PT
An iPhone 14 upgrade for $82, because looks matter
An iPhone XR with its appearance changed to look like an iPhone 14 Pro. Photo by VnExpress/Luu Hieu
People are spending less than $100 to change their phones' appearance and make them look like the new iPhone 14.

Huynh Anh of Hanoi said the iPhone XS that he has been using for the last three years still works well, but he "was feeling bored."

This year, after seeing some color changes in the newly released iPhone 14, he decided to change his phone's hull to one that looks like the new iPhone 14 Pro.

"The only thing that isn't changed is the notch. If I feel appropriate, I will upgrade it into the real thing later," said Anh, adding that he'd spent around VND2 million ($82.81) to change his phone's appearance.

iPhone 14 is sold from VND24.9 million ($1,040) to VND49.9 million in Vietnam.

Like Anh, Ngoc Duc of Hanoi's Cau Giay District also renovated his phone the moment he saw that the option was available. He had already changed the appearance of his iPhone XS Max to a 13 Pro Max last year, saying it felt like using a new phone without paying much money.

The only drawback is that the fake hull is low-quality and would degrade after a few months, and that the actual specs of the phone would stay the same.

Thanh Toan, the owner of a phone repair shop in Cau Giay, said around 2-3 people come every day to ask about changing their phones' appearance and make them look like iPhone 14.

When there were leaks about the new iPhone's appearance, people started offering counterfeit hulls in the market, especially with the distinct violet hue that the new, original phone sports.

Now that the iPhone 14 has officially been released, the fake hulls come in more variety and can support more phone models, from iPhone X and upward.

Toan said there was high demand to change the hulls of older iPhone models, as long periods of use have already caused some wear and tear. Some shops were actually buying old phones and reselling them after changing their appearance to look like iPhone 13 and 14, he added.

A representative of the Dien Thoai Vui phone repair chain said the number of people changing their phone’s hull to one that looks like iPhone 14 has increased steadily in recent weeks. The best-selling cases are those that look like the violet variant of the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.

But because they are fake hulls, their colors cannot match the real stuff, the rep said.

The rep also advised that phone users do some serious, careful research and choose reputed shops for the appearance change, as the procedure requires the phone to be taken apart.

Without the right skills, the process could result in damaged components, or the components could even be switched to lower-quality ones, the rep cautioned.

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