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Copycat "hiPhone 5" Surfaces In China 227

hypnosec writes "A fake iPhone 5, inspired by the leaked images of the device, has been discovered to be on sale in China. The quality of the hiPhone 5 varies with the price, with the most premium version of the device being available for 800 yuan or £76. The device reportedly comes in red and pink. Chinese media is reporting that the fake iPhone 5 is thinner than the iPhone 4 and comes with round edges. Other reports are claiming that the device is extremely light and almost feels like that one is holding a plastic toy. The reports are likely based on some images that were leaked by the supply chain." Since they're going to the trouble of building counterfeit stores, the knock-off phones shouldn't surprise anyone.
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Copycat "hiPhone 5" Surfaces In China

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  • Is it a telling commentary on the decline of the US dollar that the price, on an American website such as Slashdot, is quoted only in yuan and pounds sterling?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Baloroth ( 2370816 )
      No. It is, however, extremely odd, considering that Reuters lists only the dollar and yuan amount. I'm extremely confused why pounds sterling entered into it. Perhaps the submitter has an axe to grind about /. being an American website?
      • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

        No. It is, however, extremely odd, considering that Reuters lists only the dollar and yuan amount. I'm extremely confused why pounds sterling entered into it. Perhaps the submitter has an axe to grind about /. being an American website?

        Yes it looks like the submitter changed the currency, but wild speculation about why is still wild speculation - and you seem to be a touchy about it.

      • The submitter lives in the UK and pounds sterling is his or her native currency.

        But feel free to presume ideological reasons if you'd prefer to grind an axe rather than use common sense.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        You mean like how US submitters often convert measurements to feet and inches or pounds and ounces? Pounds are the worst for us in the UK because we don't use them as a measure of a person's weight, we always use stones. Well, I always use kilogrammes but I am a minority.

        Don't read too much into it.

    • by ushere ( 1015833 )
      us$ in australia fluctuates daily - last year it was hovering around 60>70 cents aus - now it's $1.08. so as a 'standard' it's now more than useless....
      • by quenda ( 644621 )

        around 60>70 cents aus - now it's $1.08. ..

        Blink and look again: $1.02 as I type. The markets appear to be slightly volatile at the moment.
        Maybe the submitter wanted to use a more stable currency, not that I would have chosen Stirling either!

    • I can just imagine the tagline:

      '"hiPhone 5: If you thought it was an iPhone, you must have been high."

  • Sure, China can copy apple products(along with manufacturing the official ones); but could they, through the bold adoption of a "One Child, but as many as you want if the first one looks like Steve Jobs" policy, conceivably create a Counterfeit Steve Jobs? Complete with a melamine turtleneck?
  • Cool. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by liquidweaver ( 1988660 ) on Wednesday August 10, 2011 @07:57PM (#37050894)
    This is the invisible hand of the market doing its job. Exploit workers overseas and pervert the spirit of patents, copyrights, and trademarks only to further monopolize your position, going so far as to crate proxy lawsuits against your competitors and creating injunctions on other businesses only for extortion... yes, I'll have to admit I hope the hiPhone team springs of the excellent designs of the iPhones and makes a better, cheaper product. It's called progress.
    • by s73v3r ( 963317 )

      Yeah, not gonna happen. This has absolutly nothing to do with the "Invisible Hand" giving the market a handjob. The iPhone is popular, whether you like to admit it or not, so the Chinese are gonna make cheap, crappy clones of it. Such as what happens to anything remotely popular.

      • by MacTO ( 1161105 )

        I beg to differ since their crime is violating trademarks (to swindle the consumer). They definitely did not create a clone of the iPhone.

        Besides, how do we know what the quality is like? I've never really trusted the, 'it feels cheap,' test because most people equate weight and sturdyness with quality. Which means that you could make a steel frame and suddenly have something that's well built (even if the design or manufacturing process is faulty).

      • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
        The iPhone isn't that popular. It does suffer a disproportionate amount of "HEY GUIZE LOOK AT MY NEW iPHONE" propaganda though, which makes people think it's more popular than it is. Stand outside a crowded Apple store and count how many people are actually walking away with one. Most of the people are just sitting there all day basking in the glory of their Apple god wishing they could afford the shinies.
    • So wait, just because you disagree with Apple means that their product should be stolen?

      Do you seriously think a Chinese firm would have pushed out anything like an iPhone before Apple produced theirs?

      There can be a lot of progress in the world through open standards and the like which Apple should be pressured into doing by their customers, but theft of a design is not it. You can produce a spectacular smart or cellphone without ripping off a company. The way this is done rips off consumers and Apple and

      • but theft of a design is not it.

        They didn't steal the design, it is based on a concept mockup, the iphone5 doesn't exist.

  • Other reports are claiming that the device is extremely light and almost feels like that one is holding a plastic toy.

    So now mobile devices that are light weight are assumed to be cheap? Interesting.

    • What do you mean "now"? It's not whether they're light, actually, but whether they're dense. Cheap, shitty electronics have a lot of empty space. Expensively designed and molded electronics have less.

  • by Grumpinuts ( 1272216 ) on Wednesday August 10, 2011 @08:08PM (#37050992)
    If the Chinese have announced an iPhone5 and are shipping, does that mean they can sue Apple when they release the iPhone 5?
    • where have you been for the last 2-3 decades?

      having and enforcing a patent has nothing to do with releasing an actual product.

  • Hmm.... let's see... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday August 10, 2011 @08:12PM (#37051030)

    Chinese economy soaring, US economy crashing. China not giving a shit about patents, US living on patents... Correlation or just coincidence?

    • by stms ( 1132653 )

      They're not doing as good as everyone in the US thinks [].

      • Wow! Honestly, that's a little scary. That they're in a bubble is obvious, but I didn't know that the bubble is quite that thin. If China's stability fails (economic or otherwise) while we're still in this economic climate, then the economic tsunami would be more than a little concerning.
    • Eh... correlational coincidence. Remember, there have also been reports of groups in China outright recreating whole companies, passing themselves off as the real companies, signing contracts with other companies as the real companies and the original company being baffled about complaints about the quality of products they don't like.

      The Chinese economy is soaring because they don't care about ANYTHING. Were looking back to an industrial revolution style mindset in the modern era. Not caring about paten

      • by Trogre ( 513942 )

        How much of that obscene amount of funds do you think is going towards military programmes?

        And yet for some reason there are still people in the western world who don't think twice before buying Made In China. If only they could see what is likely to happen next...

    • by _xeno_ ( 155264 )

      Anyone who remembers US history should be able to answer that one.

      The US Industrial Revolution was literally based on IP stolen from England. Samuel Slater [] copied the design of patented British cotton mills as best he could and brought them to the United States.

      Thanks to this act of blatant "intellectual piracy" he's now known as the "Father of the American Industrial Revolution."

      Today? It's the same thing, different countries.

  • a lot of cheap ripoff phones have carp software

  • No way! Really? (Score:2, Interesting)

    Holy crap? Seriously? China copied some super-popular electronic device and sold a higher-quality version for a tenth of the price because they aren't all greedy assholes and don't get hung up on bullshit like intellectual property and other bogus patent-based shit? Wow...

    If they stole them from Apple and sold them, I'd be a little upset. As it stands, they are manufacturing, marketing, and selling them themselves, using their own investment money. Fuck you Apple, you don't own an idea.

  • This is what happens when you turn over manufacturing to a 3rd party that you have no real control over.

    Yeah - good luck with that. Oh and those fake Apple stores .... they were going to build those anyway. Apple just helped things along by sending China all its design info.

    I hope this happens to many "American" companies who outsource manufacturing.

  • Something nobody seems to be pointing out is that maybe Apple and other American companies need to understand the Chinese culture and Chinese laws and hire better Chinese lawyers to prevent or be able to litigate against these kinds of maneuvers in China.

    Another idea, how about American companies just make a part of their manufacturing deal with Chinese manufacturing companies for that company X to effectively buy all IP rights for said product to be manufactured in only China. If Chinese manufacturing com

  • As a comment from a person who has actually bought one as a gimmick, I can tell you that it wouldn't fool the blind. It is simply NOT a copy of the real thing. They are typically Android phones, or some pen-based phone OS, with an external design that looks like an iPhone. As soon as you use it however, it's really very clear what it is.

    The only good thing I can say about them is that they come with a TV app.. ;) You can watch TV on them, there's typically an extendible antenna. (Yes, analog free to air T

  • Android 2.2 and has Android market access.

    Its not state of the art and it has a resistive touch screen but it runs the apps I want and I can use it with
    my cheap prepaid sim card.

    If I were Apple id be FAR more worried about the increasingly "cheap and good enough" android phones
    than any crappy iphone knockoff.

    • by quenda ( 644621 )

      Its not state of the art and it has a resistive touch screen

      Of course it does. You ever try writing chinese characters without a stylus? Or taking your gloves off to answer the phone in February in Beijing?

  • Isn't Samsung being sued because the Galaxy Tab "supposedly copied" the look-and-feel of the iPad?

    Yet the hiPhone (and other chinese rip-offs, including that fake apple store in china) blatantly advertises itself as an iPhone clone and seems to get away with it scott free.

    You'd think that with the amount of money Apple has in their coffers they'd have an official or two in their pocket to make sure that the hiPhone manufacturers are being kept in line ..
  • But will it run iOS?

    Speaking of which, how did Apple not manage to get sued by Cisco?

  • Does this remind anyone of the South Seas tribes who, after WW2, made wooden radios and beacons in the expectation that they would cause aircraft bearing advanced goods to land?

  • You never know who has developped the hardware/software in China and if there are any backdoors for law enforcement. Considering that they are running the Great Firewall of China, I wouldn't want to have all my data stored in the "Cloud" as I presume a lot of the iPhone data does right now or is moving that way.

    If this phone doesn't do the Cloud storage, I would see this as a definite advantage for personal freedoms (relatively speaking) .

    • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

      iPhones don't store any of their data "in the cloud." There is the option to sync it with a server, which you have to pay for right now and will be free in the future.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @01:20AM (#37052606) Homepage

    There have been Hiphone phones for years now. The first one wasn't very good, but by the Hiphone 4, they were getting halfway decent reviews.

    It doesn't integrate with Apple's overpriced ecosystem. It's a straightforward unlocked GSM smartphone. And, unlike with Apple, you can replace the battery.

  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @02:27AM (#37052876) Journal

    The Netherlands benefit from the Marshall plan, American tax payers money send to Holland to restart the economy after WW2. One of the most notable was the investment that allowed Hoogovens, an iron smelter, to be created. It would become one of the better ones in the world, a major contribution to the dutch economy AND a competitor to American steel.

    Japan was also selected by the US for enhanced economic growth. Much of its culture was heavily guided by McArthur including things as schooling. Now MAYBE some Americans thought they could turn that country into a source of cheap labor but the Japanese government had an entirely different idea. With long term plans they setup entire industries with a clear goal of first producing crap for the local market and parts for the foreign market then improving the local products and shipping cheap but not good to foreign markets, then good products locally and finally good products abroad. Honda? Toyota? Sony? There is a long list of super companies that ALL started out with lousy reps in the west. Then for a long time they were just known for high quality. Japanese cars especially went from barely fit to drive to examples of just how crap American made cars were by comparison.

    Korea saw all this and liked it and did EXACTLY the same thing. All the Asian tigers are copying it and China is just very very good and extremely large. A few japanese cars coming on to the western market just meant Detroit lost a bit of fat. Korea made Detroit go hungry. Chinese cars will finish Detroit off. Indian cars will rape its corpse.

    What was produced in Japan was copied in Japan. Same for Korea and China. And then Japan changed and actually started to produce better good themselves because the Japanese government still invested in industry not the financial market. Anyone who think the financial market is an industry should just die. Why was the transistor pocket radio made in Japan? Transistors were not a Japanese invention. Name an American consumer electronics brand. I don't know any and I am near half a century old. (Meaning I saw some of the switch from Japanese crap to Japanese quality) Granted I am from Holland but why do I know several Japanese and other asian brands but not a single US brand for TV's?

    It shows just how long this process has already been going on. The process of all production shifting to the east.

    The portable transistor radio was a famous Sony product for fitting a radio into a shirt pocket if you first enlarged the pocket. But the walkman then came into fashion. An American concept? A European one? No, Japanese again. MP3 players would re-boot that industry. Did Sony make them? No. Were they made in the US? If you now happily shout YES because of Diamond... oops sorry, the first mp3 player was made and sold in asia. Search for MPMan.

    And for a long time the biggest players were Korean. Not American until the iPod hit the scene. A device entirely made in China. US design, asian production... cheap knockoffs... gosh if only there was an example in history... well there isn't ONE example in history, there are LOTS.

    What is forgotten by a lot of people is that the west did not get what it was thanks to the million dollar incomes. It got there on the back of people making a mimimum wage but making it reliable. Working on an assembly line may not be glamorous and may not be the future you want for your kids but it puts bread on the table and pays the rent. 1 iPod designer, 1000 people on the factory line supporting their families. Only problem, the 1 iPod designer is in the US,the 1000 people are in China. What do the 1000 Americans do? Work for the iPod designer? That is what reaganomics would tell you. But reagan and his supporters are morons. The current economic cricis is the proof.

    The US, the west, ANY country NEEDS those 1000 factory workers because if those 1000 aren't on the assembly line they are un-employed. England and its riots, France and its riots and the US and its riots are the warning signs.

    Paris Fra

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