A very good friend returned from a recent trip to China and called it the country of fakes – from Apple to Blackberry, China had all the recent models of mobile phones cloned and selling at less than half their original prices. They’re not exactly the same as the originals of course, although they look strikingly similar and are built with even more features than the models they’re supposed to be aping.
The fake iPhone for example is available at one-fourth of the price of the original, and it looks and feels like the real deal although those who know their Apple products and are blessed with sharp eyes will realize right off the bat that the dimensions are a bit off (the screen is not as wide as in the original).
While I do admit that Apple does a great job with quality, I do have a grouse against them not only because their products are priced exorbitantly, but also because they don’t standardize their offerings.
In short, it bugs me that I have to pay a bomb to buy from Apple and yet not be able to use their products with other gadgets. When there is no USB port on the new, much-hyped-about iPad, how on earth are you supposed to connect it to most other storage and communication devices?
Well, the fakes take care of that for you – the copycat iPhones include a mini USB connector instead of the iPod dock connector and they also have many more features that the real iPhone does not. Also, if you’re buying a fake iPod, you know you can use it as a mass storage device as well and just plug it to play or load songs from your PC.
And for those of you who worry about the size of the iPhone, well, there’s a miniature alternative available – the CECT m188 is exactly like a dwarf iPhone which is available unlocked and which supports dual SIM cards. It comes with an MP3 and MP4 player and also supports GPRS connectivity.
But even with all this direct attack on, I don’t think Apple has anything to worry about – whatever their faults, you do have to admit that they come out with products of the highest quality with efficient operating systems and attractive features and that look really great. They make great status symbols, and this is one thing the clones can never take away, the power of the brand called Apple.
What Apple does have to worry about is the threat of legitimate competition from manufacturers of other smart phones and gadgets, companies who are known for their status and quality too, and who finally may score over Apple just because they allow for standardization in their products and are not as hoity-toity as Apple.
This guest post is contributed by Brenda Harris, who writes on the topic of executive mba programs. She can be reached by email at [email protected] . If you would like to guest post on this blog, please check out the guidelines.