While Apple and Chinese manufacturer ProView continue their bitter and vitriolic battle as to who legally owns the iPad trademark, a variety of media reports have emerged from the country showcasing some downright bizarre iPhone knockoffs.
To many Chinese the iPhone is an expensive luxury. In many ways it is also an unnecessary luxury — a symbol of western excess and gluttony — since the phone’s core functionality is offered by much cheaper models from domestic brands.
Brand affinity, however, is a phenomenon that crosses borders: some Chinese see the iPhone brand as symbolic ticket to the elite upper class, and what they want, yet can’t afford, they must fake.
Enter the Chinese entrepreneur. According to the Financial Times, a variety of services have sprung up on the online marketplace Taobao that for RMB 6 to RMB 8 (an iPhone 4S starts at RMB4,988) a month allow users of QQ, the world’s largest e-mail and IM service, to add a fake “sent from my iPhone” message to their communiques.
“The iPhone is too expensive. If you don’t want to spend that money, then fake it!” advertises one Shanghai based entrepreneur.
This service compliments the plethora of iPhone branded phones available in China that are anything but designed in Cupertino.
While stamping the iPhone brand to a generic phone is a somewhat expected forgery, stamping that same recognizable brand to a cooking stove is just downright bizarre.
Officials from China’s Industry and Commerce Administration announced today that they have confiscated 681 iPhone branded gas burners. According to media reports, these stoves were being manufactured in a factory in Wuhan, China.
Each of these stoves comes with a certificate of authenticity from “Apple China Limited.”