Apple products are some of the most sought-after tech gadgets in the world. Their smartphones have made a huge impact on the mobile market, and they helped boost the popularity of wearable technology with the introduction of the Apple Watch, so it makes sense that smaller companies would want to emulate the tech giant’s products.
However, some manufacturers have gone so far as to create and distribute knock-off products that are hardly Apple approved. 9to5Mac’s own Dom Esposito recently reported on a number of knockoff Apple products he was able to uncover on a trip to China.
Mockup of the Chinese “GooPhone”
Esposito ventured to Shenzhen, a spot that is notorious for a slew of crazy tech gadgets (a toy car that doubles as a phone) and Apple counterfeits that you have never heard of.
Esposito came across the iPhone 7 Bluetooth headset, which has convincing Apple logos and a package that portrays a thoughtful photo of Apple’s founder, Steve Jobs. The package also has odd specs that make you think twice about its validity.
Esposito also uncovered an iPhone battery pack in “24 karat gold”, supposedly distributed by the iPhone Gold Co. in London. The battery pack comes with all of the charging cables you would need, plus an included mirror and flashlight, all within a nice compact case. It’s flashy, but definitely not Apple official.
But there’s more than just what Esposito uncovered. There’s also a device that goes by the name iPhnoe (we kid you not), a terrible rendition of an iPhone 4 with vertical keypad, small display, and bubble home and call buttons that make for a very sad copy.
It was recently uncovered that you could also purchase fake Apple Watch devices in the Huaqiangbei market of Shenzhen as well. The devices include key elements from the real device (like the essential Digital Crown), and run on an Android system that is tailored to look like the watchOS. They are marketed under names like “Ai Watch” and “D-Watch”, and only cost a fraction of what a real Apple Watch would go for.
But knockoffs are not only limited to mobile devices and accessories. It was discovered that there is a knockoff MacBook Air. Marketed on the website Shanzai.com, the computer promises to be an improved rendition of the popular Air model. However, it has only an 11″ screen, a poor processor, no RAM, and a Windows key on the keyboard.
It’s truly hard to believe that these exist, yet it’s easy to see why smaller manufacturers and brands would want to try and emulate one of the most popular and most stylish tech brands in the world.