iPhone 5 might not be out yet, but the hiPhone 5 certainly is and a number of versions of the copycat device are for sale in China on the e-commerce website Taobao with prices starting from as little as 200 yuan ($31). That obviously has not stopped companies like Taobao from using China’s lax copyright laws from using the Apple image to sell pirated products and the heavy tax burden along with the lower wages of Brazilian consumers versus their counterparts in the U.S. and Europe make almost-Apple products an attractive alternative…………….
The hiPhone 5 is selling for as little as 200 yuan ($31) on China’s top e-commerce platform Taobao, which is owned by Alibaba Group. But one has to pay around 800 yuan for a more genuine one, according to some shop clerks at a mobile phone market in Shanghai. “Look at this. It’s not the same as the 300-400 yuan ones,” Shanghai-based daily Metro Express quoted a clerk as saying, pointing to one originally priced at 850 yuan. The hiPhone 5 is based on leaked images of the yet-to-be-launched iPhone 5 and is thinner and with less rounded edges than the existing iPhone 4. It is extremely light, almost like a plastic toy, like most pirated mobile phones. Western governments have repeatedly criticized China for widespread violation of intellectual property rights, but pirated goods from branded watches, to bags and computer software can be easily found in shops. Apple, which is expected to roll out the latest version of the iPhone 5 smartphone within a few months, sold a record 20.34 million iPhones during the last quarter, even though its newest model is over a year old.
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