If you think Kunming fake Apple store is nuts, you haven’t see the craziest one yet. We recently found another fake Apple store. It’s located in Zhongshan, China. It’s definitely not a cheap knock-off, it’s probably the most gorgeous Apple store knockoff yet. Full photo gallery and video after the break.
Maybe this is the first you’ve heard about Zhongshan. Zhongshan is a famous historic and cultural city in China. It is a third-tier city with population over 3,000,000, and the city’s GDP exceeded 140 billion yuan (US$22 billion) in 2008. The main attractions in Zhongshan are based on Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the forerunner of China revolution, as the theme and the name of the city also originated from Dr. Sun Yat-sen. You can click here to check out the Zhongshan city on Google Maps.
It’s the best looking Apple store knockoff we have ever seen. It’s definitely not an Apple Authorized Reseller/Premium Reseller, since we don’t see any signs saying it’s an authorized reseller.
We only see an “Apple Shop” sign. Yucks!
The store has a giant Apple logo. It’s white, it glows, and it’s almost the same size as those glowing Apple logos we have seen at the real Apple stores.
It looks ugly in daytime.
We see the locals walking in-and-out from the store. They look happy.
At the main entrance, we see a banner promoting its back-to-school deal. All college students and teachers could bring along a school ID. Rebates of up to 1000 yuan ($156) is available when purchasing a new MacBook.
Posters of Apple products are hanging outside the store. They look like those castle flags.
We can see the second level of the store from outside. Those iMac boxes look appealing.
Maybe they should keep the curtains down in their workspace.
Looks like one of the employees is using Windows XP. No Macs!
Yes, we went inside and poked around. The first thing we see is employees in blue t-shirts with Apple logo. They don’t have chunky Apple name tags around their necks. Next, we tried to look for wood tables and stone flooring, but we don’t see any. There’s no winding staircase too. But there’s a sitting area upstairs. Last, we see a lot of REAL Apple products.
Although there’s no wood tables, we still think the white tables look nice with the Apple products.
The “Apple” employees look very cool!
Customers are walking into the store to ask inquiries such as the price, how-to-use, about the iPhone 4 and iPad 2.
A kid is getting his hands-on the first-gen iPad.
We proceeded to hang out at the store, spending some time on the Apple products, and when we looked at the price tag of the iPhone 4, we found something interesting. The white version costs more than the black model. The 16GB black costs 4,988 yuan ($779), while the 16GB white costs 5,688 yuan ($889), that’s a 700 yuan ($110) difference! Why? We asked the employee and here’s what he said:
“We have very limited stock for the white version. Our iPhones are Hong-Kong licensed and we provide one-year warranty, no matter your phone is literally damaged or not, we will fix it. And we provide lots of apps and games when you buy an iPhone from us, we will help you to install hundreds of free softwares on your iPhone.”
We wondered why they are selling Hong Kong licensed iPhones, and not China-licensed, since the real Apple stores in Shanghai and Beijing are selling China-licensed iPhones. Well, here’s what the employee “secretly” whispered in our ear,
“These iPhones come from Hong Kong. You know the grey market vendors? Yeah, we get the stocks from them, and we need to sell some products at a higher price to cover our import duties.”
We tried to ask more about it, but the store manager called him for some matters. Then, we noticed another funny thing. The display white iPhone 4 we are playing with, is not the original white iPhone 4 from Apple. It’s actually a modded iPhone 4 (black to white). We’re guessing the white iPhones this store is selling are all modded models… Oh, the display iPhone is jailbroken, we see Cydia!
There’s a second floor in the store. It looks like a sitting area for customers, but it is actually for other purpose. Customers can bring along their iPhones and iPads and go upstairs to seek for service and support. You don’t see a Genius Bar, but you will see employees jailbreaking iPhones and iPads. They help customers to install cracked apps on the devices, so if you’ve purchased an iPhone 4 in the store, just go up and let the employees to do the rest. Just have a sit and wait for the magic happens!
Branches and Marketing Materials
This is the brochure we got from the flagship store.
The brochures introduces the store’s software support area that helps you to download and install 100,000 of cracked apps. You also get a year of maintenance and software update support. Not enough? One to One service is also available!
You can also see all the price tags of the Apple products they’re selling. Man, the first-gen iPad is still available for purchase!
And here’s their business card.
On the back, it says “Think Different”. Cool.
If you are very lucky, you may get their exclusive iPhone 4 discount coupon. With this coupon, you can purchase a black 16GB iPhone 4 for just 2,999 yuan ($469). Does the real Apple store offer this to customers?
Lastly, you can take a look at the group photo of their “Apple” employees before you put your trust in them to help you with the jailbreaking service.
We know there’s a lot of fake Apple stores in mainland China, and all of them features an Apple logo as their banner and the decoration of a real Apple store. Since the whole decoration looks authentic, some locals may think the store is a real Apple store, especially looking at the employees who wear blue shirts with Apple logos. We think these fake Apple stores must be put to a stop, at least they must be stopped to use the Apple trademark logo as their store banner. And we actually pity the employees of these fake Apple stores, since they believed they worked for Apple. These employees should work for the real Apple store if they really wish to be a part of Apple. Anyway, we are hoping to see these fake Apple stores to be closed down, and we know Apple’s legal team will not let them get away easily, since Apple is already doing something on the fake stores in Beijing and Kunming.