The Fake Apple Store in China and Their Role as Indicators of Demand

The strategy of “inspiration” is the oldest, with some reciprocity to their advantage: which copies take advantage of flip and copy receives a compliment. It is something that happens in all markets and that technology has been a constant since years ago, and the mobile world does not escape having almost eternal goals such as Apple.

Here there is always doubt whether it was first the chicken or the egg because beyond the released product is the germ, the idea, and who, how and when given with this and if other who stole it. But the fact is that he over all since the company initiated a turn to the unibody aluminum products, associations of other designs of other brands are continuously made to Apple’s. But beyond large companies and nods, inspirations, or more or less blatant Copies, is the sector of the clones.

Mobile cloned there Apple’s and other brands and they soon appear in fact, and the source of these is China, a country with a continuous endemic birth of manufacturers of low-cost smartphones. With the imitation as usual, these take the lines of designs of terminals and most successful brands and Apple is a special case, that copy shops and even style of dress of the CEO. Although it seems that this trend is declining and increasingly less business opt for the Cupertino style. Can this drop be a faithful reflection of the demand in China?

Filling the pockets at the expense of another image

It had Zhao told Reuters in an interview on the shops boom pseudo-Apple in China that in this region there are alienated many “people” to pay the extra cost involved in getting a new iPhone before anyone else. Zhao is an employee of one of these establishments, which was two weeks that I had open at the time of the interview (last September), which speaks of the increase of these following the launch of 6s and 6s Plus iPhones.

From United States has tried repeatedly to the Chinese Government to cooperate in the fight to protect intellectual property

Given that it’s more economical alternatives to avoid the implicit cost per brand, and the price differences due to the different components and their quality (and what will save the manufacturer in licensing and other costs), the business of the imitation can be very beneficial and on the scale that occurs may even cause problems for the imitated regarding its strategy in the long term. For this reason that since the United States has tried repeatedly to do the Chinese Government to cooperate in the fight to protect intellectual property, apparently without much success.

Thus, China has been a haven for the birth of manufacturers and marks that practiced the brash game cloning a striking case being Apple. As we read in the article by Reuters, the logos of Apple filled one of the main streets of Shenzhen (China) when this city only has an Apple Store and five dealers, so many of these stores were simple updates (including company uniform) who nevertheless also sold official Apple products.

When something ceases to be “cool”

But everything that rises, low, and apparently the outbreak of clones of the Apple Stores has slowed in recent weeks. According to Business insider the number of fake Apple stores has dropped to one-third of which had last September. And the funny thing is that they have gone to devote himself to selling smartphones in competition, now being unauthorized distributors of brands such as Meizu, Xiaomi, Huawei or Oppo.

As we said at the beginning, the fact to be copied has a double effect (positive and negative) and in addition It is somehow an indicator of demand, There are by the Association that the more something is copied is because most demand. Therefore, this decrease can be effect of a possible change in the preferences by Chinese buyers. CAI, a store employee clone of Apple explains that if sales are down by half since October, and alludes to a popularisation of the iPhone.

Having an iPhone is not as cool as before, now just you can brag you use one.

Sales of iPhones in China increased by 84% from September and today we know that Kantar data in this country he leads with 27% of these sales, ahead of Huawei (with 24%) and Xiaomi that stays with the bronze with 14%. This fits with the fact that is a common product and that therefore, the aspirational component has fallen a little.

The risk of playing with the limits of intellectual property and patents is not low and the consequences can be disastrous

However, the demand is much less shaft that rotate the births of these overly inspired non-official stores. The risk of playing with the limits of intellectual property and patents is not under much less and the consequences can be disastrous if both company and country of origin exert a continuous pressure so that this reduced, so change the strategy (or appearance) could be more a way to save a response to the shift in demand.

Patriotic pride

The shift of these stores to the Elimination of apples in showcase and t-shirts may be also caused by some effervescence in national product support. Business Insider, collect some opinions from users who choose other original brands of the country, or simply because after the experience with iOS prefer Android as an operating system on their mobiles, as noted by Wang Li, designer.

I don’t mind the brand, but you must have Android system. My last phone was an iPhone, the system is stable but I don’t like having to download it all from the App Store

Huawei, as we have seen pursued closely to Apple sales in this country, is one of the preferences that are repeated in these opinions, the comparison in terms of performance of both brands both directly support Chinese brands. As verbatim Li Hongxuan, user that also opts for Huawei because it is sufficient although “it may not be as good as an iPhone”.

China remains a key market for mobile manufacturers and as we have seen Apple comes out victorious in the recent market studies. However, following the economic results that mark had a few hours ago we saw that within the positive numbers in general sales were kept in number of units, something that occurs for the first time in the history of the company and some analysts already were coming.

Maybe that the iPhone has been standardized in China and to not compensate keep your logo in stores, but for now the numbers indicate that in terms of sales iOS continues to grow in the country.