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Apple store detains teens for installing iPhone game

Coppers called over demo unit download

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Four teens in Palo Alto, California, say they were detained and photographed by an Apple store after they downloaded a third-party application to an iPhone demo unit.

The youngsters told Mercury News that a manager of their local University Avenue Apple store called for police reinforcement after discovering the racing game, "Raging Thunder" had been installed on the touch screen phone. High school senior Daniel Fukuba was demonstrating the iPhone's features to his chums, when he downloaded the game.

Both the store employees and manager were at first unperturbed by the boys playing around with the demo unit. But after they left the store, a manager bolted out and demanded the teens return. The manager then called the police.

Sgt. Sandra Brown of the Palo Alto Police confirmed to Mercury News that they were called in by the Apple store, although no arrests were made.

The group claims they were also lectured by the manager about the dangers of "hacking," were all photographed, and told their pictures would be sent to surrounding Apple stores "so they'd be on the lookout for us," according to one of the teens involved, Noah Rogers. In all, they were detained for two and a half hours.

The boys also say they were issued a ban from all Apple stores, although an Apple spokesman has denied the claim.

In March, Apple opened the iPhone SDK to let third-party apps run on the platform — although apparently this is only something that should be attempted in the privacy of your own home. ®

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