With Apple Watch prices set to top $20,000 in China, factories churn out knockoffs

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited March 2015
Mainland Chinese consumers looking to purchase an Apple Watch will face credit card bills far higher than their counterparts in Japan or Hong Kong thanks to the nation's oppressive luxury tax scheme, setting the stage for China's impressive counterfeiting industry to flood the streets with copycat devices.


A fake Apple Watch spotted by AppleInsider in Hong Kong. This device was listed for HK$499, or $64.


Apple Watch prices in mainland China are anywhere from 16 to 20 percent higher than they are in other countries, according to Apple. The 38-millimeter Sport model comes in at ?2,588 ($413) in the People's Republic, a healthy 15 percent premium over its $351 price tag in Hong Kong, while the top-of-the-line rose gold Edition clocks in at ?126,800 -- more than $20,000.

Chinese consumers are used to seeing such inflated prices, thanks to the hefty luxury tax -- which can exceed 30 percent -- that China imposes on imported items. While some opt to eat the difference and others choose to shop overseas, many relatively poor buyers instead line up for copycat goods.

The knockoff production lines, known as shanzai, have already begun to churn out cheap imitation Apple Watches. AppleInsider spotted the above fake in a Hong Kong electronics stall last month, and the South China Morning Post found an array of similar forgeries for sale in Shenzhen, a manufacturing center just across the Hong Kong border.

Many of these look nearly identical to Apple's offering, though are generally only compatible with Google's Android mobile operating system.


Zhimeide's D Watch, which sells for less than $50 and mimics the Apple Watch's design exactly. | Via SCMP


One such device, from Chinese manufacturer Zhimeide, comes complete with a digital crown and the ability to control a connected handset's camera. The ?298 ($48) device sports a 160 mAh battery that ostensibly provides standby time exceeding seven days, but which drops to three hours under heavy use.

The reproduction Apple Watches are merely the latest salvo in a long-running battle between Apple and Chinese counterfeiters, who primarily target the massively popular iPhone and iPad lineups. Some have even set up entirely fake Apple Stores, so convincing that employees actually believed they worked for Apple.

Apple's Beats unit has also felt the pressure, with lookalike headphones available in seemingly every electronics shop in China. The company filed suit against several Chinese counterfeiters last summer, seeking billions of dollars in damages.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    Meanwhile, the ChiComs will stick their fingers in their ears and not do anything about this.

    At least that one is being sold as an "iWatch", which doesn't exist.
  • Reply 2 of 42
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,018member

    I have this mental image of an fAndroid neckbeard standing on a street corner in a trench coat in the middle of the summer. You walk by, he opens his coat and you see Chinese ?Watch knockoffs hanging from the inside. They run Android and he’s selling them for $50. “You want a gold one?” he asks.

     

    It’s also going to be hilarious to see how Samsung responds. I can’t wait!

  • Reply 3 of 42
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    China... Land o' Fakes.
  • Reply 4 of 42
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

     That the watch will be obsolete in 3 years is a PLUS in their eyes. 


     

    Why would this be obsolete in 3 years?

     

    Remember the architecture for Apple Watch is to make it as dumb as possible.  The iPhone does the heavy lifting - which allows the watch to save battery and future proofs it.  Want a faster Apple Watch?  Get a faster iPhone.  

     

    Apple also already announced the battery can be upgraded/replaced.  More future proofing.  

     

    People think this is a computer on your wrist.  This is much closer to a monitor/display on your wrist.  Displays have a life much longer than a computer.  

     

    Apple will focus on yearly upgrades that add sensors rather than adding that much performance or battery life.  

  • Reply 5 of 42
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    Read the article to below to see what Apple is trying to do selling a $17k watch.

     

    makes total sense.

     

    Remember these rich people don't care about practicality.  That the watch will be obsolete in 3 years is a PLUS in their eyes.  It makes it even more EXCLUSIVE.

     

     

    http://www.cultofmac.com/315099/17000-gold-apple-watch-might-be-too-cheap/


     

    This is nothing new to anyone that has even an inkling about marketing.

     

    Selling "distressed" jeans at exorbitant prices is one of the best examples of this phenomena.

     

    Maybe the next thing will be $35,000 Apple Watches that have cracks in them.

  • Reply 6 of 42
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,254member
    Reminds me of my first drive over the border to Mexico many years ago. Fake Rolex watches were the main exchange currency. :D
  • Reply 7 of 42
    irelandireland Posts: 17,745member
    All the Samsung employees over on MacRumors saying these are better than the ?Watch. Such a cesspool that forum has become. If I was Arn i would have wielded an axe over there long ago.
  • Reply 8 of 42
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    ireland wrote: »
    All the Samsung employees over on MacRumors saying these are better than the ?Watch. Such a cesspool that forum has become. If I was Arn i would have wielded an axe over there long ago.

    Every site I go to these days... flooded with Apple haters. Who are these idiots?
  • Reply 9 of 42
    I was wondering why we hadn't heard that China was already selling these on the streets of Hong Kong last year. Guess they were.
  • Reply 10 of 42
    Get ready for the tsunami of stories about the Apple Watch being so expensive poor people will not be able to buy one unless they sell drugs, sell body parts, etc. Market Watch has been publishing articles like this for a few days now.

    Today's story was about a Chinese guy who dropped of school, is now a migrant worker and got caught selling drugs so he could buy an Apple Watch next month. Yesterday's story was about Foxconn employees having to work ten years before being able to buy a gold Apple Watch. Hell, I cannot justify a gold Apple Watch for myself and I live in the USA!

    Even though these stories have been published for years around the time a new Apple product is to be released, it still boggles my mind that the stories are skewed to blame Apple for people's actions. Thankfully, several people commenting on the Market Watch stories are calling the authors out for being so shoddy with their reporting.
  • Reply 11 of 42
    Every site I go to these days... flooded with Apple haters. Who are these idiots?

    Techies who see the world as Moore's Law, cheap disposable plastic phones, and the almighty L33T specs. Consumers love Apple's stuff.
  • Reply 12 of 42
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,018member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post



    All the Samsung employees over on MacRumors saying these are better than the ?Watch. Such a cesspool that forum has become. If I was Arn i would have wielded an axe over there long ago.



    And if you dare to confront any of them too aggressively you get put into timeout for a few days. It’s all about clicks and views these days. I visit Mac Rumors about once a week just to see what the paid trolls are saying.

  • Reply 13 of 42
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,018member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    Every site I go to these days... flooded with Apple haters. Who are these idiots?



    It was the same when the iPad debuted. Remember the feminine napkin jokes? The ?Watch has struck a nerve apparently though. It lays bare the class envy that simmers just beneath the surface and fits right in with the group’s “overpriced” meme they have been regurgitating for years. This plus the fact that the Android OEMs are unlikely to follow Apple’s lead on this one. I don’t think we will be seeing a $1000+ Android Wear watch anytime soon, do you?

  • Reply 14 of 42
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Mainland Chinese consumers looking to purchase an Apple Watch will face credit card bills far higher than their counterparts in Japan or Hong Kong thanks to the nation's oppressive luxury tax scheme, setting the stage for China's impressive counterfeiting industry to flood the streets with copycat devices.

     


    A fake Apple Watch spotted by AppleInsider in Hong Kong. This device was listed for HK$499, or $64.





    Apple Watch prices in mainland China are anywhere from 16 to 20 percent higher than they are in other countries, according to Apple. The 38-millimeter Sport model comes in at ?2,588 ($413) in the People's Republic, a healthy 15 percent premium over its $351 price tag in Hong Kong, while the top-of-the-line rose gold Edition clocks in at ?126,800 -- more than $20,000.



    Chinese consumers are used to seeing such inflated prices, thanks to the hefty luxury tax -- which can exceed 30 percent -- that China imposes on imported items. While some opt to eat the difference and others choose to shop overseas, many relatively poor buyers instead line up for copycat goods.



    The knockoff production lines, known as shanzai, have already begun to churn out cheap imitation Apple Watches. AppleInsider spotted the above fake in a Hong Kong electronics stall last month, and the South China Morning Post found an array of similar forgeries for sale in Shenzhen, a manufacturing center just across the Hong Kong border.



    Many of these look nearly identical to Apple's offering, though are generally only compatible with Google's Android mobile operating system.

     


    Zhimeide's D Watch, which sells for less than $50 and mimics the Apple Watch's design exactly. | Via SCMP





    One such device, from Chinese manufacturer Zhimeide, comes complete with a digital crown and the ability to control a connected handset's camera. The ?298 ($48) device sports a 160 mAh battery that ostensibly provides standby time exceeding seven days, but which drops to three hours under heavy use.



    The reproduction Apple Watches are merely the latest salvo in a long-running battle between Apple and Chinese counterfeiters, who primarily target the massively popular iPhone and iPad lineups. Some have even set up entirely fake Apple Stores, so convincing that employees actually believed they worked for Apple.



    Apple's Beats unit has also felt the pressure, with lookalike headphones available in seemingly every electronics shop in China. The company filed suit against several Chinese counterfeiters last summer, seeking billions of dollars in damages.

     

    Considering those watches won't integrate at all with the Iphone, how are they Apple Watch at all. They've Android watches disguised as pseudo "Apple Watch".

  • Reply 15 of 42
    gprovidagprovida Posts: 251member
    The people who cannot afford luxury items will seek fakes with reduced quality and price. These are not Apple's market. The Chinese are very aware of difference between genuine luxury items (clothes, accessories, phones, and watches). While very annoying it is almost impossible to police due to scope and Government indifference. However, luxury watch makers have managed through this market reality and very successfully. I suspect Apple will as well.

    The actual lost income is very unclear.
  • Reply 17 of 42
    Every site I go to these days... flooded with Apple haters. Who are these idiots?

    Well, when something becomes very popular, it almost always becomes "cool" to hate on them. People think they're being original when they hate on Apple. That's a laugh out loud moment when co-workers and acquaintances talk about how awesome the Samsung Gear 2.0 line is compared to the ?Watch or the how the optic sensor on their new phone is all they need so the ?Watch is pointless. It is Apple's success that has fed into this silly phenomenon. Good on Apple.
  • Reply 18 of 42
    Fvck those fake-a$$ beyotches
  • Reply 19 of 42
    hoganhogan Posts: 94member

     

    You'll all enjoy this from an Apple user.

     

    As someone has already pointed out, the iWatch is really little more than a secondary display for an iPhone.

  • Reply 20 of 42
    hoganhogan Posts: 94member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    what is an iWatch?

     

    Probably some Apple Troll invention.

     

    by the way I reported you to the mods, so you should post messages while you still can since you will be banned soon.


     

    :) And why did you do that, you sensitive child?  

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