Fake MacBook Air, 'big iPhone' tablet on show in China

A Chinese company displayed its imitation MacBook Air and two tablet computers

A knock-off MacBook Air running Windows, a tablet computer shaped like a big iPhone and another tablet meant to rival Apple's iPad were all among the devices shown off by a small Chinese gadget maker on Thursday.

Teso, a gadget design outfit in the freewheeling southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, has already sold its MacBook Air look-alike for more than a year and is preparing for sales of its tablets, said a company official surnamed Wu.

The tablet shaped like an iPhone uses the hit Apple phone as a model for details down to the curves on its black rear shell and the single circular button below its screen. But it uses an Intel Atom microprocessor and its screen measures 10 inches, similar to the 9.7-inch screen on Apple's upcoming iPad.

"If you're going to copy, then copy the most expensive and the most popular," Wu said at a trade show in Shenzhen when asked about the similarities between his company's devices and those from Apple.

China's notorious industry in knock-off electronics including mobile phones is largely based in Shenzhen, a manufacturing base where factories churn out gadgets for well-known companies like Apple. Counterfeit iPhones are widely sold in anarchic electronics markets in China alongside genuine versions of the iPhone and other handsets, such as phones from HTC, that are bought abroad and informally carried into China.

Many other phones sold in those markets copy from Apple devices, borrowing the company's logo or its iPod scroll-wheel rather than replicating the iPhone in full.

Teso sells more than 5,000 of its imitation MacBook Air laptops each month, at a price per unit of 1,900 yuan (US$280), Wu said. That is far less than the real MacBook Air's starting price of $1,499, as listed on Apple's Web site, but the two machines are similar only in appearance. The Teso laptop has an Intel Atom microprocessor and runs Windows XP, the most widely pirated operating system in China.

The white Teso machine does carry the Apple logo on the back of its screen, the words "MacBook Air" beneath its monitor and a wide, single mouse button like those below the keyboards on Apple laptops.

"I couldn't sell it in America," Wu said, citing likely problems at customs.

Teso showed only a mock-up of its iPhone-style tablet at the trade show, but sales should start this month or next month at a price below 3,000 yuan ($440), Wu said.

Teso tweaked the tablet's design in a bid to avoid rights infringement since its shape is based on the iPhone, said Wu. "The appearance of mine is similar to Apple's, but theirs is a mobile phone," he said.

Teso also displayed another tablet with a 10-inch screen running Google's Android operating system. An improved version of the tablet, which uses a chip with Arm architecture, could go on sale in around four months, and Wu wants it to run like an iPad, he said. It will sell for around 1,200 yuan ($175) and come loaded with popular applications, Wu said.

But the iPad, while more expensive at a starting price of $499, is sure to give users access to many more applications through Apple's App Store.

Apple did not reply to a request for comment.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Applemacbook airTablet

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Owen Fletcher

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?