The faux phones came aboard a flight from Taiwan and have an estimated value of $1.2 million on the black market, our friends at the Mercury News tell us. The phones could have brought in $600 each -- minus the service contract.
Agents found the phones during a search last month and waited for verification that they were fakes. One of the dead giveaways the they were not the real deal was the removable battery cover. Apple doesn't have an iPhone with a removable battery.
We're not sure what the other clues were that led agents to figure out the iPhones were fakes, but EverythingiCafe has a list clues that could point out wannabes as dead ringers.
That fake battery compartment, along with the batteries and chargers that were part of them, could have been dangerous for consumers because they had not been tested for U.S. safety standards. Legit chargers stop sending electricity once the battery is full. But chargers with a continued flow even after the battery is full could cause it to explode.