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Crime Iphone Apple

What You Get When You Buy a $40 iPhone In a Bar 211

Posted by timothy
from the cheap-thrills dept.
Barence writes "How good — or bad — are fake iPhones? PC Pro blogger Steve Cassidy has a friend who paid £25 ($40) for an 'iPhone' in a bar, and he's got the photos and full lowdown of what's inside this not-so smartphone. The phone looks convincing enough from the outside, with a genuine-looking backplate, but things start to go wrong when you switch it on. What's a "Java" and "WLAN" App button doing on the screen? And how about that Internet Explorer icon? It's like you're handling an artefact from an alternate history, dropped in via a spacetime wormhole. It has dual SIM handling, too, and came with a bizarre auxiliary battery festooned with warnings about not pressing a button mounted on the front of the top-up device."
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What You Get When You Buy a $40 iPhone In a Bar

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  • Awesome review (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DavidR1991 (1047748) on Friday February 19, 2010 @06:20PM (#31205148) Homepage

    Ashens did a review of one of these a while ago [youtube.com] (the menu does not look identical, but the resolution of the screen + font seems similar).

    Sharing purely because I found it fairly amusing (especially the call dropping feature...)

  • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Friday February 19, 2010 @06:21PM (#31205160) Homepage Journal

    A guy I work with has one of these he bought in China. If it has a removable battery and Java it might be a good thing to own.

  • Re:SEE!!! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Shatteredstar (1722136) on Friday February 19, 2010 @06:24PM (#31205212)

    I doubt it will protect us really, afterall I have my own views on how well 'anti-counterfeiting' will work in countries that have repeatedly basically said "We'll do something about it!" then obviously not done anything.

    As for moral of the story we can take another from it...

    "There is a strong market for cheap thrill devices in bars!"

  • by TokyoJimu (21045) on Friday February 19, 2010 @06:28PM (#31205258) Homepage

    I recently spotted a waiter with an iPhone in a third-world country so I went over to ask him about it. But it quickly became obvious that it was a fake. The sad thing is, I don't think the guy knew it. He said his mom paid $120 for it but it was basically unusable. You had to press real hard on the screen and the location calibration was way off (I'd played with another fake iPhone when I was in Laos and it was much better than this one). I showed him mine and the way it's supposed to work, with just a light flick of the finger.

    Once I'd convinced him it was a fake, he asked me how much fakes like his go for in the U.S. I told him we don't have the fakes because you can get a new real one for $99 (with two-year contract). I ended up talking to the guy for a half-hour and it was a learning experience for both of us. But I felt bad for the guy, having spent several months' salary on a phone that barely worked (and possibly thinking that Apple makes such poor products)

  • Botnet (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kheldan (1460303) on Friday February 19, 2010 @06:31PM (#31205296) Journal
    I wouldn't at all be surprised, especially for the rediculously low selling price, if it's got botnet software embedded right into it, and this is part of an overall plan to create a wireless and mobile botnet. Either that, or a tool for direct identity theft or worse.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 19, 2010 @06:45PM (#31205446)

    ... than this guy [englishrussia.com].

    And that "Asian lady lying on a bed who wriggles and moans suggestively when you rub your finger over her. " is exactly the Axe Feather game [gamedition.com]; wonder if they actually ported Flash to that phone.

  • Great timing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rsayers (987262) on Friday February 19, 2010 @07:04PM (#31205644)
    I *just* ordered one of these from eBay yesterday. I needed a cheap unlocked phone, this option was cheaper than most name-brand used phones and at the price I paid, I won't be terribly upset if it's complete garbage.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 19, 2010 @07:39PM (#31206006)

    I recently bought a fake blackberry at the Official Beijing Fake Market for 40$, and I love it. (I think the case is similar to the Blackberry 8900)

    Dual sim, QWERTY keyboard, good screen, fast (and stable) firmware, excellent battery time (thanks to 3700mAH battery), bluetooth, can be used as a webcam via USB, TV Tuner, and the list goes on! It even has a lot of options my previous 'real' phones did not have, like saving texts directly to MMC. (8gb supported).

    Here's the kicker:
    It's a full J2ME phone so I managed to install many apps, including Google Maps and Opera 5.2, which both work excellent.

    It's excellent build quality, but if this one breaks I'm buying a "Chinese Copy Phone" again.

  • by TimeTraveler1884 (832874) on Friday February 19, 2010 @08:17PM (#31206340)

    So much time spent working out how to design, construct, and replicate just close enough to make the sale...

    I doubt there was little if any NRE (Non-Reoccurring Engineering) costs involved in the construction of these iPhonies. The price alone strongly suggests the most likely explanation is that the Chinese manufactures making the genuine iPhone, are running their production lines on the side, without Apple's consent.

    Apple has handed them the specifications and all the manufacturer has to do is build a few thousand more than what Apple orders. The bootleg manufacturers don't even have to pay for things like molds or automation setup costs. They then fill in any missing pieces (such as software or mute slider switches) with the cheapest thing they can get.

    You probably would be surprised at how often this happens with consumer goods built in China.

  • Re:High Standards (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ottothecow (600101) <ottothecow&gmail,com> on Friday February 19, 2010 @08:51PM (#31206570) Homepage
    even the knockoff iphone can do flash?

    And it only costs $40?

    The article fails to note if there are any bad traits to this phone...

  • I'd be afraid to (Score:2, Interesting)

    by KingSkippus (799657) on Friday February 19, 2010 @08:51PM (#31206572) Homepage Journal

    I'd be scared to try to use this for anything but maybe passing some idle time playing games.

    I mean, think about it. The OS and core apps are developed in China. I'd be afraid if I use Chinzilla to read my e-mail on this thing, even if by WiFi, it would be "phoning home" to the people who installed the software to let them know where I'm going, what I'm doing, and oh, here are his passwords. Good luck reporting or prosecuting that identity theft.

  • by Nikker (749551) on Friday February 19, 2010 @09:59PM (#31206964)
    The sim is really the only part of the phone apple didn't design. It is a standard part that is roughly the same for all phones because it comes from specs from the FCC or your local equivalent. It would be like a wifi chipset it just deals with radio protocols and encryption. The main point is that the only benifit to outsourcing to China is labour costs, you have to provide specs for everything. When they are not only making the overall design but all the individual components are being manufactured right next door to each other it's just about working with what you've got (which in this case is not that bad). A hand full of engineers patch work some extras or start up a ghost shift and just pay / hide material costs and you're up and running. With overall performance getting pretty good you can't really go wrong. They just have to make it Linux compatible in some way and the community will likely take care of most of the support. For that price and some mobile OS that I can find software you have a product. We've given a lot to the Chinese and if there is ever a plateau they've got silicon valley by the balls.
  • by mdwh2 (535323) on Friday February 19, 2010 @10:27PM (#31207068) Journal

    Indeed, and this is nothing new - the Iphones have long being playing catchup to what's available in cheap bog standard phones (e.g., 3G, copy/paste, video recording, Java, MMS, ability to run apps from anywhere, tethering). Sure, it has better hardware (you'd hope so, for the price), but it's also had gaps that have taken Apple years to fix (and in some cases, they're still not available), and it is hardly the be all and end all of phones, nor is it clear why it deserves the "smartphone" label when other phones don't (all feature phones are smartphones these days, really, by the original meaning of the term).

  • by gmack (197796) <gmack@iPOLLOCKnnerfire.net minus painter> on Saturday February 20, 2010 @06:54AM (#31209074) Homepage Journal

    Dual sim means dual sim slots and two recievers so the phone can connect to two networks at once if you don't mind a shorter battery life.

    It's a particularly Chinese innovation and not just a small tweak of an Apple design.

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