Send in the iPad Clones

Zac and I spent time living and working in China. We both were amused and amazed at the Chinese ability to quickly clone the latest trends and technologies. It’s been 3 months since Apple announced the iPad in San Francisco. The iPad has been available for purchase for 3 weeks. Today, the 国产苹果iPad, “Domestically Produced Apple iPad” is available in China from 远鹏 (Schezhen Yepo Time Electronics Company). Price is 2740 RMB ($400 USD) listed on www.taobao.com.


The Chinese “iPad” is a Windows 7 PC with an Intel microprocessor. The look, feel and weight is similar to an Apple iPad.  The details in English can be seen thanks to the Yahoo! BabelFish translation service.

The Chinese iPad has already become the target of Jay Yarlow on Business Insider.  Jay calls it a “Crappy Fake” because it is more square in shape, thicker and heavier.   Hmm…. The Chinese “iPad” is $100 cheaper (a positive), it has a slightly bigger screen (a positive), heavier by 0.2 kg, 6 to 7 oz, (a negative), is about twice the thickness (a negative) has USB ports (a positive)…?   I agree that the Apple iPad is slick technology.  I am not sure if the these trade-offs are significant enough to really matter to a Chinese consumer.  While iPhone/iPad software will not run on this “iPad”, Apple has never penetrated the China market.   A Windows PC with Windows software “iPad” may be a better solution for the China market.



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4 Responses

  1. zac says:

    Great post Patrick! Though I’m not sure I’d agree with the statement “Apple has never penetrated the China market”. Apple is just taking time to build their brand. What many don’t realize is that a huge chunk of the 10 million iPhones sold this past quarter were sold in China (http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/04/21/apples-chinese-iphone-sales-explode/). As China’s middle class (and their disposable income) grows, Apple is in position to monetize this new market. With one Apple store in Beijing already and 2010 openings planned for Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Xi’an I think you’ll see Apple getting a bigger piece of the China pie, much in the same manner that BMW and Audi have become big brands there.

  2. Patrick says:

    Zac,

    We both know from experience that the Chinese recognize Apple as a great brand. But it will take time for Apple to translate that brand into huge volume sales within China. If you read the CNN Money – Fortune article you linked, the Apple iPhone sold about 1 million units. As the article states, it’s 4% of the upper class market, but 1 million units out of total 500 million users. Apple still has a way to go, or you can look at it as Apple has a huge opportunity.

  3. Travis says:

    The Apple iphone may have sold 1 million units, but this was not in the mainland. When Apple released it officially, only 5000 units were sold on the first day.
    Ipad is for sale in ZGC (Zhong Guan Cun) for sum of RMB8000

  4. zac says:

    Travis, while I agree with your numbers, Apple has slowly been building huge brand in China. And while competitors can knock-off the hardware look… they fall short on the software. Here’s an interesting article on the Forbes website about how Apple’s best strategy in China was to not have a strategy…
    http://blogs.forbes.com/china/2010/05/06/for-apple-the-best-china-strategy-was-not-having-one/

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