WOL – Apple is one of the biggest targets when it comes to Chinese smartphone knockoffs — it’s not uncommon to hear about a device being sold overseas that looks strikingly similar to the iPhone.
So it came as a surprise on Friday when a battle between Apple and China over an iPhone patent entered the public eye, calling Apple a copycat manufacturer.
Chinese manufacturer Shenzhen Baili alleges the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus designs infringe upon its own 100C smartphone intellectual property, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The case is currently being reviewed by the Beijing IP Court.
Apple has been copied so many times by Chinese manufacturers that it’s hard to take Shenzhen Baili seriously. To hit home that point, we’ve rounded up some of the best fake iPhones and other Apple products that have popped up in China.
There’s always a quick turnaround iPhone knock off whenever a new one launches. Goophone is typically early out of the gate.
The Goophone i6S ($129) and i6S Plus ($149) are considerably cheaper than Apple’s current iPhone 6 and 6S Plus, but they run on Android and don’t have the same hardware specs. They are also devoid of the Apple icon on the back — instead, the Goophone i6 has a bumblebee logo.
2. Knockoff iPhone 6S
Other iPhone knockoffs come at even cheaper prices, including this fake $37 iPhone 6S found by ARMdevices.net, which looks almost exactly like an iPhone 6S with a slightly bigger home button and a modified operating system. It’s even the same size as the 6S.
One interesting concept with this fake iPhone with its not-quite-iOS software is the way it dedicates full pages on the home screen to playing music and looking at photos. Maybe Apple could look to some of these professional fakers for future iPhone inspiration.
3. Fake iPhone SE
Sometimes Chinese manufacturers even get ahead of the game and put out new iPhones before Apple does. YouTuber EverythingApplePro purchased a knockoff iPhone SE produced before the real SE design was announced.
The knockoff iPhone SE is based on some possible design concepts that were circulating around the Internet before its announcement and has a design closer to an iPhone 6 than the iPhone 5S. Inside the shell is actually just the hardware and software of an iPhone 5S.
4. Imitation C-002 iPhone
These counterfeiters didn’t just start copying Apple within the past two years. The original iPhone had a number of Chinese knockoffs too, including the C-002.
While modern imitators try to make phones look a lot like the iPhone, the 3.5-inch C-002 doesn’t try too hard. Aside from the off-center square on the home button and the Apple-like OS, this could easily be a completely different smartphone.
But there’s just enough design features lifted from iPhone to know it wants to ride Apple’s coattails.
5. Fake “Cool999” iPhone
The Cool999 iPhone knockoff is certainly trying to pass as real Apple device, being the same 3.5-inch size and same shape, but it comes up short in a few different ways.
The home button, interestingly, has Apple logo on it, except the Apple is bitten on the left side instead of the right side. It also looks like it has a thick metallic back, which doesn’t quite live up to the aesthetics of the original iPhone.
If you squint, you can also see a Windows logo in the top-left corner of the Cool999’s screen. That’s right — the phone runs Windows Mobile 6.0, which is pretty ironic for a fake iPhone.
6. Copycat iOS
Not only are people taking iPhone designs and hardware and repurposing them, some are ripping off the software too. Chinese company Xiaomi released an called MIUI 6, an almost identical knockoff of iOS 7.
Even though these faux iPhones come at a much cheaper price than normal iPhones, counterfeiting Apple products is a pretty lucrative business in China. In 2015, a factory mass-producing counterfeit iPhones was busted, and it contained over 41,000 smartphones with a total haul equalling over $19 million. (masahable/nia/data1)