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UK police shocked to discover taser disguised as iPhone

iPhone-shaped tasers are easy to find in US markets

A taser designed to resemble Apple's iPhone was taken from a boy, and UK police say it was capable of delivering 650,000 volts.

Non-lethal tasers are illegal in the UK, but that didn't deter someone from smuggling one in. The taser in question was built to look like an iPhone, which can be purchased easily in the United States.

According to a report from Birmingham Live, police in Sutton Coldfield arrested a boy in possession of such a taser. It resembled an iPhone, but a button pressed on the side showed it was clearly a taser.

"Apparently they were developed in the States to combat muggings and can deliver shock of up to 650,000 volts of electricity," Councillor Richard Parkin said after a ward meeting. "They are illegal in this country; possession of a non-lethal taser is a criminal offence which I understand carries a maximum prison sentence of ten years."

An actual photo of the taser wasn't released, but a quick search on Amazon US will produce plenty of results. Tasers are sold in a variety of forms, from key fobs to flashlights, in order to keep a potential target from suspecting it is a weapon.

The products are generally sold as a tool used by people afraid of being targeted by muggers or other criminals on the street. Tasers generally deliver a non-lethal shock that can pack quite a punch — leaving an assailant incapacitated for several moments.

The high voltage rating of 650,000 volts is more marketing than anything. High voltages are meaningless if a product cannot provide a strong and sustained current.

This novelty iPhone taser would likely hurt and knock someone down but wouldn't be as effective as something more purpose-built, like a taser gun. Remember that volts hurt, but amps kill.