Being #1 often has it's disadvantages. Copycats like to bandwagon you, hijacking your style to attempt to ride on your coattails all the way to the top. This is fairly commonplace. But the extremes to which Apple is copied seems to take that sentiment to the next level all together. After the jump we've collected some of the most hilarious and down right litigious examples of Apple fakes. The designers can scoff at the quality, the fanboys can cringe at the dissimilarities, and the haters can laugh at Apple's misfortune. There's something for everybody!
To start, a general shout out should be given to all of the amazingly bad Chinese fakes out there. China is responsible for producing all sorts of shapes and sizes of illegitimate Apple merchandise from iPhones and iPods to Macbooks and iPads. And it doesn't even take long for them to be made. It seems that only weeks after a new Apple product hits the shelves, the equivalent fake is already on the market. The problem has gotten so bad that Apple has created an anti-counterfeit team. The above exmaples are just some of many of the hilariously executed fakes out there. The "iPhone" example is particularly untouchable as far as criticism goes. Is there a single similarity to the real one there?
Digging further into extremely bad territory, Vice magazine published an article in 2004 about running into a guy who had just been duped into buying a $200 Macbook off the streets of NY. Let this be a lesson to all of you, unless you're getting a Macbook from your mother or god himself comes down to hand it off to you, finding a functional one for $200 or less is not going to happen. Sadly, the article tells a story of a desperate student who let cutting corners get the best of him. Upon purchasing the laptop from an extremely sketchy dude he opened the real iBook box to find out it was simply a bunch of Village Voices for weight and a smaller box, covered in a trash bag, spray painted silver, with a hand painted Apple logo. Oh the humanity!
The second story is no more forgiving than our last downtrodden protagonist. A woman was approached by two gentlemen in front of McDonald's hoping to sell a new iPad to her for $300. After only confessing she has $180, they negotiate, give her the box and leave. For reasons unknown to us, she doesn't check the package (a FedEx box) until after she drives home. Upon opening the package she was greeted with quite a disheartening sight. What did she find? Nothing but a plank of wood, painted black in a shoddy attempt to resemble an iPad. Curiously enough, there were hand painted dock icons and an Apple logo as well as a Best Buy sales ticket attached to the front? We have no idea so don't ask us to explain. But again, DO NOT BUY VALUABLE ELECTRONICS OUTSIDE OF FAST FOOD STORES.
Lastly, this story has been all over the news recently but it was recently discovered that a string of illegally operating Apple stores in China. These Apple stores were fairly convincing to the untrained eye. But apparently even to the some of the trained eyes as well, as all of the employees thought they were working in authentic Apple stores! Everything from the products to the decor and even the signature blue shirts were counterfeited to look like a real Apple store. There is a larger discussion which can come from this about the perception of quality and authenticity and how so many people were seduced into thinking they were experiencing an authentic, high-quality Apple experience, given the various visual clues to the general Apple branding, yet the store is also riddled with shoddy craftsmanship and design considerations such as the overhead lighting and the ugly HVAC vents and access panels hanging from the ceiling — something that would never appear in a true Apple store.