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5 Blatant Chinese Apple Knockoffs

They say imitation is the best form of flattery…

Michael Cruickshank
5 Blatant Chinese Apple Knockoffs© 2018 Flickr - Cory Doctorow

China has a poor reputation when it comes to copying other people’s intellectual property. Indeed within China, given the brand power of Apple, a whole industry has flourished dedicated to producing knock-off devices. From small inferior quality products, to different-in-name-only products released by large companies, these devices offer an interesting insight into how the worlds largest country sees Western tech. Check out our list of 5 of the most egregious Chinese Apple knock-offs we have ever seen.

1. HiPhone 5G

While the world was busy anticipating the release of the iPhone 5, the HiPhone 5 was released to little fanfare in China. Sporting a more brick-like form factor, and the yet-to-be-seen-in-the- West ‘5G’ internet connectivity, this phone was a somewhat hilarious attempt to trick unsuspecting online buyers into a cheap purchase.

Image: © 2014 Aliexpress

2. Xiaomi Mi4

The latest flagship phone from notorious Apple-copier Xiaomi, is somewhat more than just ‘inspired’ by the iPhone 5S. From the metallic strip which runs around the phone, down to the sloping bezels, this phone is original in name only. Even its operating system (MiUI) copies the colours and aesthetic style of the latest version of iOS.

Image: © 2014 Xiaomi

3. Smart ‘iwatch’

The highly anticipated ‘iWatch’ wearable is expected to be released sometime this year. But why wait when you buy a ‘Smart iwatch’ off Chinese retailer Aliexpress for just $63? Who knows, maybe this device will be better than the real thing? We doubt it though.

Image: © 2014 Aliexpress

4. Xiaomi Mi Pad

Just like a iPad mini, only colourful, the MiPad is the latest high-profile tablet offering from Chinese tech giant Xiaomi. While it could be said to be a knock off, this is actually quite a high quality product, which shares much of the same specifications of the iPad which many have alleged it copied.

Image: © 2014 Xiaomi

5. Kunming ‘Apple Store’

Why copy just individual Apple products when you can copy an entire Apple Store? A retailer in Kunming, China managed to build a near-perfect fake of the iconic design of an Apple Store, including wooden paneling and a Genius bar. They even managed to copy the blue Apple shirts for the staff, who reportedly had no idea they were working for a fake store.


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