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China Apple Idle

Police Find Apple Branded Stoves In China 212

Posted by samzenpus
from the seems-legit-to-me dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Just when you thought the Apple knockoff trade in China couldn't get any more ridiculous, Chinese Police recently seized 681 "Apple iPhone" branded gas stoves in the city of Wuhan. Yep, that's right, some folks are peddling gas grills and are trying to made the product more appealing by stamping an Apple logo alongside the 'iPhone' moniker on the front."
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Police Find Apple Branded Stoves In China

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  • Obviously (Score:5, Funny)

    by SJHillman (1966756) on Monday February 27, 2012 @12:52PM (#39173779)

    Cooking dinner? There's an app for that.

  • by Kenja (541830) on Monday February 27, 2012 @12:53PM (#39173795)
    and an Apple Care plan to cover them when (I mean if) they break. I shall be king of the hipsters with an Apple iStove! Now if only I had some iGas to power it....
  • Obviously (Score:5, Funny)

    by philip.paradis (2580427) on Monday February 27, 2012 @12:54PM (#39173815)

    Apple products are really hot in China.

    • by MisterSquid (231834) on Monday February 27, 2012 @01:00PM (#39173911)
      Actually these iStoves run on the same chips as the iPhone, the difference being they have Flash installed. iStove loads a page, Flash pegs the CPU, and iStove gets hot enough to fry an egg.
      • by Dynedain (141758)

        No, they don't run Flash. You're confused because you got the product name wrong, they're actually called iSteves and run on the bottled extract of Job's anger. In turn, Microsoft is supposedly going to release a hair-dryer-chair for beauty salons powered by Ballmer's fumes.

    • Brings new meaning to the term firewall.
  • Accessories? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Monday February 27, 2012 @12:55PM (#39173837)
    I would have thought that the iPhone accessories market could easily accommodate this. But a revision of RFC 2324 for a broader set of appliances would be in order for that to happen.
  • Did it really work to increase sales of a gas stove? Would sticking an apple logo on something just automatically increase sales in China?
    • Re:Does it work. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ackthpt (218170) on Monday February 27, 2012 @01:12PM (#39174073) Homepage Journal

      Did it really work to increase sales of a gas stove? Would sticking an apple logo on something just automatically increase sales in China?

      Consider this is only new in China, back decades ago you could expect the same in Japan - anything with English or an American Brand Name associated with it was considered good marketing in Japan. Consider how utterly ridiculous the marketing is in America before laughing at the Chinese. Trucks and Cars named after towns, cities and areas. Honestly, what exactly is 'Silverado' or 'Sonoma' about a vehicle? It certainly wasn't made there. Jeep Rubicon? Excuse me, but that's an Italian river and more familiar with the phrase 'Crossing the Rubicon' akin to making a move from which there is no return, as Julius Caesar took his legion across the river (I'm sure they didn't have Jeeps then). How utterly preposterous, isn't it? I think to succeed in marketing one must have no idea what they heck they are talking about, but absolute belief it's the right thing to name something.

      • Re:Does it work. (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 27, 2012 @01:15PM (#39174113)

        I agree that names are ridiculous, however, WRT the Rubicon, I believe it's named after the famous four-wheeling trail (which itself is named after the river). That actually makes a little bit of sense.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Such semantically-vacuous automobile naming reached its ironic barftastic peak back when Toyota decided to name their largest and most gas-guzzling SUV line the SEQUOIA. [facepalm]
      • by Cronock (1709244)
        Names are generally applied to products... rarely having anything directly to do with the product itself. The philosophy behind doing that is up for debate, but unrelated here. I'm more curious as to why having Apple's logo on a stove would do anything to increase sales of that stove. It's definitely not an iPhone, or made by Apple. Are they actually fooling people into thinking it's an Apple product or better yet, an actual iPhone? Surely not..
        • by ackthpt (218170)

          Names are generally applied to products... rarely having anything directly to do with the product itself. The philosophy behind doing that is up for debate, but unrelated here. I'm more curious as to why having Apple's logo on a stove would do anything to increase sales of that stove. It's definitely not an iPhone, or made by Apple. Are they actually fooling people into thinking it's an Apple product or better yet, an actual iPhone? Surely not..

          Image. Marketing. Associating with something which is successful or desireable. That's all you need to know.

          Now what would really make these stoves hot would be the Apple iPhone Gas Stove Swedish Bikini Team!!!

          • by tompaulco (629533)
            Image. Marketing. Associating with something which is successful or desireable. That's all you need to know.
            So, did it work? Did the existence of the Apple and iphone logos on their stove make them want to buy an iphone?
      • to succeed in marketing one must have no idea what they heck they are talking about

        I don't know about that.... the fact that this type of marketing works seems to say a lot more about consumers than marketers.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 27, 2012 @01:51PM (#39174641)

        Consider how utterly ridiculous the marketing is in America before laughing at the Chinese. Trucks and Cars named after towns, cities and areas.

        Websites named after puncuation.

      • The rubicon in the Jeep world is a very hard off road trail near lake Tahoe. It use to be all Jeeps could run the easy side of the trail. The Jeep badge was ment as homage and to imply that modle could run the hard side. Don't know about the other names.
        • All of them (Wranglers anyway) can likely still do that, or at least are as fit as they were in the mid 80s. The Rubicon Wrangler even has meaningful upgrades that improve its ability to handle trail driving, though that direct of a link between marketing and function is pretty rare these days.
      • by Fned (43219)

        Jeep Rubicon? Excuse me, but that's an Italian river and more familiar with the phrase 'Crossing the Rubicon' akin to making a move from which there is no return, as Julius Caesar took his legion across the river (I'm sure they didn't have Jeeps then).

        It's actually a reference to the reliability of reverse gear in the vehicle.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Consider how utterly ridiculous the marketing is in America before laughing at the Chinese. Trucks and Cars named after towns, cities and areas. Honestly, what exactly is 'Silverado' or 'Sonoma' about a vehicle? It certainly wasn't made there.

        My personal favorite is the Nissan Armada ... a word that I always think of as inherently plural. :-P

        Jeep Rubicon? Excuse me, but that's an Italian river and more familiar with the phrase 'Crossing the Rubicon' akin to making a move from which there is no return, as J

    • Homer: Look at these low, low prices on famous brand-name electronics!
              Bart: Don't be a sap, Dad. These are just crappy knock-offs.
            Homer: Pfft. I know a genuine Panaphonics when I see it. And look, there's Magnetbox and Sorny.

    • More than an Apple logo. Look at the photo. They called these things iPhones.

  • Just goes to show (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Monday February 27, 2012 @12:56PM (#39173861) Homepage

    That these days you can just stick an Apple logo on something and the drones will buy it.

    Did anyone see the alleged iPhone 5 prototype images last week? Someone on Facebook posted them and people were going apeshit, saying how great it looked and how much they wanted one. It was completely impracticable to use, but that didn't matter because it was the new iPhone.

    • Re:Just goes to show (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice.gmail@com> on Monday February 27, 2012 @01:22PM (#39174225)

      Back in 2006 there were very very strong rumours that Apple was going to release a full screen video iPod and PDA - the rumour sites even had (fake) videos of the AV iPod playing video content, with someone using the on screen inputs to forward and rewind. Of course it was slated here on slashdot because "no one wants fingerprints on their screen!" etc.

      No such product emerged that year, but the iPhone and iPod Touch turned up the following year, in almost the exact same rumoured format as the previous year. And now, most smart devices are the same...

      My point? Some people will always see the negatives in something, regardless of how successful it ends up being.

      • Back in 2006 there were very very strong rumours that Apple was going to release a full screen video iPod and PDA - the rumour sites even had (fake) videos of the AV iPod playing video content, with someone using the on screen inputs to forward and rewind. Of course it was slated here on slashdot because "no one wants fingerprints on their screen!" etc.

        No such product emerged that year, but the iPhone and iPod Touch turned up the following year, in almost the exact same rumoured format as the previous year. And now, most smart devices are the same...

        My point? slasdotters will always see the negatives in something, regardless of how successful it ends up being.

        Fixed that for you. For what it's worth, it's what I love about this place. Everyone tears down and criticizes everything while everyone else is drooling over magic.

    • The iPhone has a lot of satisfied customers. You make it sound irrational, but that is the reality of it. Sorry.

  • Compatibility (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jmv (93421) on Monday February 27, 2012 @12:56PM (#39173863) Homepage

    "We're sorry, the food you are trying to cook is not compatible with this stove. Please obtain compatible food from your local Apple supermarket."

  • by wbr1 (2538558) on Monday February 27, 2012 @12:57PM (#39173873)
    Look closely at the picture. That is a patented Apple device! How can you tell? The corners are rounded.
  • by ciaohound (118419) on Monday February 27, 2012 @12:59PM (#39173891)

    Consider the poor SOB's who bought the genuine Windows ovens instead.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I did, and there were three problems with it.

      1. Turning on too many burners would make the entire stove stop functioning. I'd have to unplug it, and plug it back in to turn it off safely.

      2. Usage was sometimes difficult: "The oven temperature has been changed. You must reboot for the changes to take effect."

      3. And then this error: Not ready heating oven A. Abort, Retry, or Fail?

      I took it back. Some folks are saying Windows Oven 3 is an improvement, but I'd rather stick with a wood stove.

    • by Curlsman (1041022)
      Cooks For Sure!
  • Whilst Apple and iPhone are no doubt trademarks in the computing and phone business, if they have not registered their intention to enter the gas stove market then surely it is legitimate as trademarks are limited to the product area you're involved in.

    • Re:Is it legal? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by UnknowingFool (672806) on Monday February 27, 2012 @01:18PM (#39174159)
      The main problem is that while you can use a trademarked name in a different industry, these gas stoves are clearly being passed off as Apple products when they are not. They are using the Apple logos in combination with a recognizable product, the iPhone. Most legitimate companies let you know their affiliations and non-affiliations like during the Olympics, visiting www.olympic.com takes you to Olympic Paints which says something like "We are not associated with the Olympic games.". Most companies have to protect their brand. These products are a different arena of intellectual property violations. They are not counterfeit but unlicensed merchandise. For example Coca-Cola does not make winter ear-muffs but an ear-muff company can't stick the Coca-Cola logos on the products without a licensing agreement with Coca-Cola without being sued.
      • by paiute (550198)

        They are using the Apple logos....

        That's not an apple - it is an Asian pear. Completely different.

        • Are you going to argue they are pears? [gamezebo.com]. Let's call it for what it is: someone is trying to use Apple to sell their merchandise when Apple has no association to the product.
    • Trademark is trademark, Broseph.

      Just because Disney isn't (currently) in the arsenic business doesn't mean you can stick a picture of Mickey Mouse on your own brand of rat poison... as awesome as that may be.
      • by Kalriath (849904)

        Mickey Mouse is copyrighted, not trademarked. And yes, you can use another company's trademark in a field they aren't in. In my country, we have McDonald's Family Restaurants (hah!) but we also have McDonald's Sewage. McDonald's Sewage uses the same arches logo as the fast food chain.

    • Whilst Apple and iPhone are no doubt trademarks in the computing and phone business, if they have not registered their intention to enter the gas stove market then surely it is legitimate as trademarks are limited to the product area you're involved in.

      Just as legal as two fans of Apple Records (the Beatle's music label) naming their new computer company Apple Computer?

      The computer company was sued by the music label and ended up paying the music label $80K and promised not to enter the music business, and the music label agreed not to enter the computer business. Additional lawsuits occurred over time, with additional and much larger payments to Apple Records. Eventually the computer company bought the trademarks from the music label and licensed them

  • by nbauman (624611) on Monday February 27, 2012 @01:00PM (#39173909) Homepage Journal

    Since when does Apple have a trademark on the use of "iPhone" for a gas grill?

    • The illegality is using Apple logos without their permission to imply that these products are endorsed by/made by Apple. It's the same with other brands like Coca-Cola, Nike, etc. You will be able to find all sorts of unlicensed merchandise, but that doesn't mean that merchandise is legal. Apple and othe companies would have no problem with people selling the product as long as they don't use their logos and names to imply a connection.
  • That is not how one fries a motherboard.
  • Seriously, I don't really have anything to add to the subject line.

  • by tnk1 (899206) on Monday February 27, 2012 @01:07PM (#39174013)

    The only thing surprising to me about this is that the Chinese police actually cares about it.

    • One of the complaints many companies have about China is the abundance of unlicensed merchandise like this. China has been criticized for their lack of IP enforcement. In this case, it's easy to determine that the product was not licensed as Apple does not make stoves. For other brands, it may not be as easy. It's high profile win for publicity. Other examples of police seizures are not covered as much as they are routine.
      • Plus, the police can start putting the REAL Apple logos on state-sponsored stoves, making sure they get their piece of the pie. Meta-win!
    • by batquux (323697)

      Technically, they're Apple police, branded to look like they work for China.

    • by gutnor (872759)

      China need to keep a balance between the healthy (for China) stealing of foreign IP with protection, otherwise countries will looking at plan B. In this case, Apple is also the largest semiconductor client in the world. Apple is a very big and very prominent customer of China. If China piss them off too much and Apple find another place to manufacture its stuff that would be a catastrophic message for manufacturing in China.

      Another aspect, is that at some point China wants to create a healthy middle clas

    • by c (8461)

      > The only thing surprising to me about this is that the Chinese police actually cares about it.

      They care about the stuff they don't get paid to not care about.

  • The were labelled "iPhone" with the Apple logo. The police were only called when several unsuspecting consumers reported getting sever burns on their ears when attempting to make a call. One person lost an index finger just trying to dial police.

  • by gatkinso (15975) on Monday February 27, 2012 @01:10PM (#39174053)

    And I can't even read the article!

  • "The name's Cook. Tim Cook."

    Commemorative product?

  • by ddd0004 (1984672) on Monday February 27, 2012 @01:16PM (#39174129)

    Morons!

    --Sent from my Maytag phone

  • HAHA! Think they might end up on Ebay?!? I really want a iPhone grill for my patio.

  • .. are trying to make the product more appealing by stamping an Apple logo alongside the 'iPhone' moniker on the front

    Like some do with laptops?

    Well? Does it work?

  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Monday February 27, 2012 @01:27PM (#39174285) Homepage

    These things are supposed to overheat and catch fire.

  • ...authorities in Beijing are perplexed by a dramatic increase in the number of burn-related ear injuries.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 27, 2012 @01:28PM (#39174307)

    I could only cook one Hot Dog before runing out of data for the month.

  • Things are just too anti-business in the US!
  • I wonder if they use a patented method of starting the fire in the stove. I bet they'd call it an iMatch.

    Oh, wait. Never mind. It'd just be cheaper for them to use a Dell.

  • by ConfusedVorlon (657247) on Monday February 27, 2012 @01:54PM (#39174677) Homepage

    surely something as amusing as that must be protected free speech under a parody rule...

  • I'm betting that one gas canister is all you need, as long as you have the iPhone adapter to refill it.
  • by Kagato (116051) on Monday February 27, 2012 @02:02PM (#39174799)

    NEC got his with this hard. Chinese pirates actually created a phantom NEC, complete with business cards, sales offices, etc. They branded and sold many consumer goods that NEC never made. NEC didn't realize it was happening until they started getting complaints about warranty service for the knock off products.

    The iPhone stove is an act of stupidity really. Even the cops would know it was fake on first site. On the other hand a Panasonic, GE, or LG products could go years before getting caught.

  • No user replaceable gas canister? lame.
  • by tekrat (242117) on Monday February 27, 2012 @02:10PM (#39174891) Homepage Journal

    You: "Siri, please cook dinner"
    Stove: "ok... I am cooking dinner"

  • Someone's getting grilled.
  • by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Monday February 27, 2012 @02:14PM (#39174927)
    No wireless. Less taste than a charcoal grill. Lame.
  • Well, back around 2000 Apple had a lap top that did bear a striking resemblance to a George Forman grill.

  • ... were right. Using an iPhone can cook your noodle.

  • AT&T offers them free with a 2 year unlimited fuel contract. But, if you use too much fuel, they’ll limit your cooking temperature. They won’t tell you how much fuel you can use, just eat your food as rare as possible and you should be fine.

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