China's iPad look-alikes brace for the real thing

Apr 02, 2010 by Joan Feng
This picture taken in Shenzhen in 2009 and released by Shenzhen Great Loong Brother Industrial Co (SGLBIC) shows the company's iPad-like "P88". Wu Xiaolong, the general manager of Shenzhen Great Loong Brother Industrial Co said the company had already lost a major order for its iPad-like touchscreen "P88", which was launched in August, months before Apple's product.

Apple's iPad has won rave early reviews but its US launch on Saturday is not welcome news for the Chinese maker of a similar-looking device that has already been on sale for nearly eight months.

Wu Xiaolong, the general manager of Shenzhen Great Loong Brother Industrial Co said the company had already lost a major order for its iPad-like touchscreen "P88", which was launched in August, months before Apple's product.

"Our products are more expensive than theirs. There had been a Canadian university planning to buy our tablet PCs for their students, but they cancelled the order to shift to the iPad," Wu told AFP.

The company made headlines in January when it suggested Apple's iPad looked like a copy of the P88, which was on show last year at the Internationale Funkausstellung fair in Berlin.

Wu declined to give sales figures for the P88, which sells for about 569 dollars -- compared to the iPad's 499-dollar entry-level price -- but said the company in southern China was producing 3,000 units a day.

"We sold to a number of overseas markets in Europe and North America, including Germany, the UK, France and Canada. We also have distributors in many provinces in China, including Shanghai," he said.

However, there was no sign of the P88 or other iPad clones at the four-floor CyberMart in downtown Shanghai on Friday, although plenty of cloned and other products were on display.

Apple has yet to announce a launch date for the iPad in China, but Huang Ting, who operates one of CyberMart's more than 100 stalls, said confidently that she expected to be selling the devices around April 10.

"We have to send someone to line up and buy them in the US and then bring them back to China. The 16GB iPad will sell for around 5,000 yuan (730 dollars," she said from behind a counter showcasing rows of iPhones and iPods.

Eager customers were paying a 500-yuan deposit, she said.

"We already have quite a few bookings," Huang said.

China's grey market for Apple products developed to meet demand from consumers eager to get their hands on iPhones, which officially only went on sale in China in October -- more than two years after it was launched in the United States.

In the meantime, 1.5 million smuggled iPhones flooded into the world's biggest mobile market before Apple reached an agreement with a Chinese network operator.

Apple officials did not immediately respond to queries on Friday.

A search for iPad on Taobao.com -- China's answer to eBay, turned up 1,600 adverts, mostly from vendors offering to ship the tablet computer from the United States.

But many on the e-commerce site were also selling iPad clones and look-alikes, including the P88.

One site compared the iPad and the P88's specifications side-by-side.

Although thicker and heavier than the iPad, the P88 boasts a slightly larger screen, faster processor, larger memory and, unlike the iPad, has USB ports and a video camera. Other competitors have added features such as global positioning service, or GPS.

Apple hopes its device will carve out a niche between smartphones and laptop computers.

Explore further: Apple computer sells for record $905K in NY

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Japan's Fujitsu says it made first 'iPad'

Jan 29, 2010

Apple's new tablet PC is not the first product to be called the "iPad". Japan's Fujitsu says it launched one years ago, and the name has also been used for small engines and even bra inserts.

Fujitsu cedes 'iPad' trademark to Apple

Mar 26, 2010

Japan's Fujitsu has ceded rights to the "iPad" name to Apple, just in time for the tablet computer from the California company to hit US stores next month.

Apple begins taking iPad orders in US

Mar 12, 2010

Apple fans flocked online Friday to be among the first to order iPad tablet computers slated to begin shipping in the United States on April 3.

Recommended for you

Apple computer sells for record $905K in NY

1 hour ago

One of the first Apple computers ever built has sold in New York for $905,000, leading Bonhams auction house to declare it the world's most expensive computer relic.

Review: Better cameras, less glare in iPad Air 2

Oct 22, 2014

If I've seen you taking photos with a tablet computer, I've probably made fun of you (though maybe not to your face, depending on how big you are). I'm old school: I much prefer looking through the viewfinder ...

Samsung phones cleared for US government use

Oct 21, 2014

Samsung Electronics Co. said Tuesday some of its Galaxy mobile devices were approved by the National Security Agency for use with classified U.S. government networks and data, a boost to the company's efforts to expand in ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

dirk_bruere
Apr 02, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
frajo
not rated yet Apr 02, 2010
"88" has an auspicious meaning in China: "double fortune".
More on http://en.wikiped..._culture .
meeker
Apr 03, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Newbeak
not rated yet Apr 03, 2010
I'm not running out to buy one yet.See this chart,and you decide:

http://img177.ima...hot1.png