• Ridiculously Cheap Fake iPhones Come to the West

    China has long had a burgeoning market in knockoff iPhones, since the genuine article wasn't available in the Middle Kingdom for years after its launch, and even now is so expensive in legitimate outlets that it is out of the reach of most Chinese workers. Evidence is beginning to emerge that copycat iPhones (called shanzhai in Mandarin) are coming to the Western world... and bringing their low price tags with them.

    Steve Cassidy at PCPro received a call from a friend who said that someone had sold him an iPhone at a pub for £25, or the equivalent of $38 US. The phone comes in a case identical to the iPhone 3GS right down to the Apple label on the back, with a few telltale differences - such as the mute switch bring a pushbutton rather than a slider - and an oddball screen display, with an iPod icon that looks like a CD and an Internet Explorer logo in place of the Safari icon. Other than that, according to Cassidy, this phone is "good enough to fool those who havenít used the real deal."

    The fake - which commenters on Cassidy's blog think is a SciPhone i68 - has two batteries and supports dual SIMs, all of which are accessed by lifting the back plate, which is removable on this device. The touchscreen allows access to an array of workalike apps, including a "Java" icon and a porn app... which clearly marks this phone as a copy, as Apple would clearly never allow such a thing.

    Most shanzhal phones - such as the micro-mini CECT m188 - differ significantly enough from the genuine article so as not they will not incur Apple's wrath. This copycat tries hard to look just like an iPhone, though, and the fake label would be something that Apple's legal team would attack with a vengeance should this item ever be legitimately offered for sale. While the quality almost certainly falls short of the original. should these devices ever come to the West in greater numbers, it may start putting price pressure on Apple's products. For now, it's hard to see this as more than just a curiosity.

    image via PCPro.uk
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