For better or worse, it seems that electronics makers just can’t help but clone the Apple Watch. The latest rumors about Oppo’s upcoming offering is just the latest proof of that.
The Chinese OEM first teased its smartwatch back in December, but only in silhouette. Now, an alleged rendering of the device from noted leaker Ice Universe seems to suggest that Oppo has borrowed some obvious design cues from the most popular smartwatch in the world.
You don’t need any additional commentary to know that the Oppo device looks stunningly similar to an Apple Watch. In fact, you actually have to try a bit harder to see the differences than the similarities.
Speaking of which, there are a couple. Oppo apparently ditched Apple’s signature Digital Crown in favor of another button. The edges of the device are also much more curved.
But other than that, the first Oppo smartwatch joins a cadre of other Apple Watch lookalikes, such as the Huawei Mi Watch and Fitbit’s Versa 2 –– as well as other less expensive devices, like the surprisingly feature-packed $40 Go Gadget Smart Fit, which makes zero effort to disguise the fact that it’s an Apple Watch clone.
What is a bit surprising is the fact that this particular Apple Watch clone is coming from Oppo, a Chinese OEM that has, thus far, avoided copying Apple’s designs. In its latest smartphone, for example, it decided against a display notch in favor of a pop-up camera module. And its AirPods competitor looks nothing like Apple’s device.
Still, it’s not that copying the Apple Watch is necessarily a bad strategy — particularly if the price point is lower. The flagship wearable is undoubtedly the most popular smartwatch in the world. It’s even the most popular watch in the world.
But the Apple Watch’s popularity doesn’t all come down to design. In fact, its success can largely be attributed to Apple’s robust ecosystem, its advanced feature set, and continuing innovation in the wearable space.
In any case, the old saying goes that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And by the looks of the current smartwatch industry, it seems like Apple is the most flattered player in the game by far.