If you are a reader of M.I.C. Gadget, you probably love to see the counterfeit iPods, iPhones, and iPads we have introduced to you. Throughout the year, Chinese counterfeiting reaches a new low with the cloning of fake Apple stores selling real Apple products. The Chinese counterfeiters even have cheap “iPhone 5″ knockoffs for sale before Apple introduces the next iPhone. What’s more impressive is that there’s a MacBook Air knockoff from Shenzhen called the AirBook that looks near identical to Apple’s unibody MacBook Air upon first glance. So, the Apple counterfeits are very attractive, and we would like to show you all the best ones in this super round-up post, just read on to catch up with us!
China is the capital of counterfeit goods, and most of them are related to Apple products. The counterfeiters just seem to love Apple, and here’s a pretty white and simple USB speakers with Apple logo printed on it. We don’t know if this attracts us, since it looks just like other brands of speakers in the market. It’s USB-powered and provides acceptable audio quality – by saying acceptable we mean the sound quality is real basic, at least better than any Macs’ built-in speakers. But c’mon, it’s made of plastic? Seriously? At least give me the all clear transparent minimalist look of the G4 Cube!
The iHub is a tiny four-port USB hub that is designed to look like it was made for your Apple MacBook or iMac. It comes with a light up Apple logo, just like the back of a MacBook. It’s made of plastic (cheapo!) and comes in white or black. In fact, this iHub was originally sold by us, however, less than a week after we announced the cutesy iHub for worldwide Apple fanboys, we were being pressured by Apple to stop selling it. Yup, the lovable fruit company released its legal rottweilers, and we were being chased by the mighty lawyers for misuse of Apple branding, distinctive packaging and trademark. So, we are screwed up, and we’re so sorry for selling this “evil” product to Apple fanboys. Here’s the fact: The iHub is NOT created, manufactured, and assembled by us. We did not rip off Apple’s branding, we’re just sharing a thing we love crazily, and we promise we would never, ever share something like this with any humans on Earth.
Apple’s Smart Cover is a perfect accessory for your iPad 2, however, it’s a bit expensive. So, why not get a cheaper one? Well, please do not save your money. The fake Smart Cover from China only saves you a whopping six bucks off the Apple price at only $33, but it’s very crappy. It includes features such as “the cover breaks,” “horrible smell,” and “does not stick to the iPad 2.” Fortunately, the fake cover does have one functioning part. It contains the same 15 magnets as the Apple original, which means it will at least unlock the iPad’s screen when you open it. But seriously, who wants a knockoff if it fails, and cost only slightly cheaper than the real thing?
In the year of 2011, Apple contended with a new genre of copycats: fake Apple Store retail locations in almost every city of China that look like the real thing. You would not believe this: The fake Apple store features a glass exterior, pale wood display tables, a winding staircase and giant posters displaying the iPad 2 and other Apple products, plus employees wearing blue t-shirts with Apple logo. Below is our coverage of the whole story.
Apple’s iPhone is arguably one of the most popular gadgets ever invented. With such high demand generated by this pop icon, unauthorized and illegal copies were sure to follow. In the year of 2011, everyone was expecting a new iPhone from Apple, the “iPhone 5″. Just months before the iPhone 5 is expected to launch, Chinese counterfeiters have already started producing an iPhone 5 knock-off partially based on the leaked designs. We purchased one from Shenzhen, and we reviewed it. The verdict? It’s thinner (7mm thick) than the iPhone 4, and features a curved design with the overall look similar to that of an iPhone 3GS.
Introducing iHub’s spiritual cousin: iSD. It is an USB SD card reader that comes with a miniaturized all-white design with round corners and features a glowing Apple logo. Apparently, the iSD is designed for 11-inch MacBook Air owners who may regret why their lovable 11-inch MacBook Airs don’t come with a built in SD card reader, like its brother’s 13 inch. All we can say is if Apple’s legal team can find the makers of the iSD, we’re sure they’ll get C&Ded too in due course.
Believe it or not, a Chinese online game company named Giant Network (巨人网络) has made a fake Apple website in order to promote their game “Zhengtu 2”. The game’s website looks seriously like Apple’s site, and we can see it is completely designed using Apple.com’s template, from the colors, frames and layout, down to the icon at the top-left that leads you back to the home page. Take note: The logo is a pear with a “bite”, by the way; not an apple with a “bite”. So, the game company does not have any plans on selling any of the Apple products prominently displayed on the pages. They are just simply using Apple’s products’ screens to show off screenshots and features of their game… Ridiculous.
If you are one of those die-hard Apple fans, these Apple sneakers will make you go ‘wow’. As you can see from the photo above, these fake Apple sneakers feature an Apple logo, and come in a range of different colors, and they apparently retail in China for just $5. But the problem is… these sneakers are only for ladies. There are no sizes for men. But, if you’re drooling over these as much as you should be and want to buy a pair, quickly head on over to TaoBao (China’s eBay-like e-commerce site), whip out your best Chinese, and start searching. However, we need to remind you one thing. If Apple actually released a line of sneakers, they would not look as dreadful as these knockoffs from China. They’re basically a clone of Converse’s Chuck Taylor All-Stars.
The knockoff makers tell us that they could completely rip off the looks of Apple’s iPad 2, but they usually produce poor copies of the original. However, we get to see a good one from them every once in a while. Introducing the M97, an iPad 2 knockoff that packs a 1.2GHz Cortex A8 processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, an SD card reader, optional 3G, rear 3-megapixel camera, front facing 2-megapixel camera, 9.7-inch display (1024 x 768), HDMI output, Android 2.3 Gingerbread or Honeycomb, and a hefty 7,600mAh battery that gives you almost seven hours of continuous video playback from a full charge. It is a bit thicker than the iPad 2 at 11.5mm, but it is thinner than the original iPad. The only thing we don’t like about it is the OS. We hope it comes with Ice Cream Sandwich instead. Price and availability? It costs ¥1,499 (about $238), available for sale in Huaqiangbei, the geeky place to shop for tech stuff in Shenzhen.
Editor’s note: If you’re looking for a cellphone that looks like an iPad 2 (not tablet size), you should check out the amazing ‘iPad Phone’.
The AirBook is an almost exact clone of Apple’s MacBook Air, right down to the glowing Apple logo on the lid. Without having a side-by-side comparison and without booting up, those less familiar with Apple products could easily be duped into thinking it was the real deal. You can check out the similarities and differences for yourself in the video above, and we also did an extensive review on the $499 knockoff!
One More Thing: China’s Real Apple Store Fixes Fake MacBook Air
So what happens when you are living in China and your lovable MacBook Air knockoff breaks down? Just head to the real Apple store in the city, book a Genius Bar appointment, and let the Geniuses to fix it out of the kindness of their hearts. Yup, as you can see from the photo above, one “Chinese cheapo” really did it, and the Geniuses are “happy” to troubleshoot a white plastic MacBook Air knockoff.
Other popular nominees are listed below:
2011 was a great year for the incredible Apple fakes in China, and these are some of our favorite stuff. Hope you like it and we will continue to bring you more Apple knockoffs in 2012! Meanwhile, you may love to check out how Apple hunts down the counterfeit products we introduced to you guys.
Been under a rock? See what else happened this year in our Best of 2011 series.
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