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What You Get When You Buy a $40 iPhone In a Bar

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the cheap-thrills dept.

Crime 211

Barence writes "How good — or bad — are fake iPhones? PC Pro blogger Steve Cassidy has a friend who paid £25 ($40) for an 'iPhone' in a bar, and he's got the photos and full lowdown of what's inside this not-so smartphone. The phone looks convincing enough from the outside, with a genuine-looking backplate, but things start to go wrong when you switch it on. What's a "Java" and "WLAN" App button doing on the screen? And how about that Internet Explorer icon? It's like you're handling an artefact from an alternate history, dropped in via a spacetime wormhole. It has dual SIM handling, too, and came with a bizarre auxiliary battery festooned with warnings about not pressing a button mounted on the front of the top-up device."

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fraud (1)

chibiace (898665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205066)

haha its a pain some of these people try to sell them at near retail prices, when the customer finally gets the product they are very shocked.

Never fails to astound... (5, Insightful)

Shatteredstar (1722136) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205096)

You know I'm almost never ceasing to be amazed by the effort and dedication of people who bootleg.

So much hard work. So much time spent working out how to design, construct, and replicate just close enough to make the sale and in some places even make a 'moderately' working replica.

If only the bootleggers could be recruited to actually create and sell your product!

On another thought you have to wonder on a component standpoint some of the bootleggers/replicators (wow sounds like I'm talking about some robot race) throw it all together with all that effort and sell it so cheap when a suitably crappy real version can cost quadruple or more!

Re:Never fails to astound... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205124)

>If only the bootleggers could be recruited to actually create and sell your product!

They can!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xflXMZL2stU

Coming to a Home Depot lot near you... (1)

garyisabusyguy (732330) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205392)

This sounds a lot like White Van speaker scams
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_van_speaker_scam/ [wikipedia.org]

If that is the case, expect it to be made from cast-off electronic components with a failure rate not unlike a Yugo

Re:Never fails to astound... (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205506)

The same could be said of all sophisticated criminals. For those that run large bot nets. Why so much effort into a crime? If you put the same effort into releasing good software you could make a very very good living.

Re:Never fails to astound... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205676)

You could make a "very good" living being honest or make a fucking butt ton of money being dishonest.

Re:Never fails to astound... (4, Interesting)

TimeTraveler1884 (832874) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206340)

So much time spent working out how to design, construct, and replicate just close enough to make the sale...

I doubt there was little if any NRE (Non-Reoccurring Engineering) costs involved in the construction of these iPhonies. The price alone strongly suggests the most likely explanation is that the Chinese manufactures making the genuine iPhone, are running their production lines on the side, without Apple's consent.

Apple has handed them the specifications and all the manufacturer has to do is build a few thousand more than what Apple orders. The bootleg manufacturers don't even have to pay for things like molds or automation setup costs. They then fill in any missing pieces (such as software or mute slider switches) with the cheapest thing they can get.

You probably would be surprised at how often this happens with consumer goods built in China.

Re:Never fails to astound... (2, Informative)

gmack (197796) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206430)

I doubt that very much. The dual sim tells me it's not at all Apple electronics and most likely made by SCI. Sci makes cheap knockoffs using an OS they skin to make the front screen look like whatever OS they are mimicking. Slap an Apple look alike case and home screen and it's an iphone. Slap a t mobile g1 case on it and it's Android.

I actually own one. I needed a cheap phone fast and their G1 knockoff was cheaper than even low end phones around here. It wasn't bad for the price but I wish they wouldn't bother skinning it to look like other phones.

the new version (4, Funny)

rarel (697734) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205112)

the iPhony!

Re:the new version (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205186)

As a user of the real iPhoney [marketcircle.com] I'm offended you would say that.

What You Get When You Buy a $40 iPhone In a Bar (4, Funny)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205126)

Arrested?

Re: What You Get When You Buy a $40 iPhone In a Ba (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205214)

Why? How is buying something in a bar different from buying it off (say) craigslist?

Re: What You Get When You Buy a $40 iPhone In a Ba (5, Funny)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206388)

MichaelSmith, age 5: "But what was the underlying cause? Was he in search of food? Was he being pursued by a predator? Was there a potential mate on the other side of the road?!?"

MichaelSmith, age 10: "Technically they never found any parts of the astronauts washed up on the beach, which makes that a single entendre!!"

MichaelSmith, age 15: "All mammal meat is RED!! Plus the anatomies are completely different. OJ wouldn't necessarily be any better at cutting a turkey than anyone else just because he allegedly murdered someone."

MichaelSmith, present day: "That doesn't even make sense! There were eight years between the Challenger disaster and the OJ Simpson trial, and supposedly I only aged FIVE years?!?!"

Re: What You Get When You Buy a $40 iPhone In a Ba (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205218)

Yep, but at least this one comes pre-jailbroken.

High Standards (5, Funny)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205132)

From TFA: The final nail in the coffin was an app we found five screens in, which even allowing for "cultural differences" Apple would never allow through the approvals process. The app in questions showed a lissom Asian lady lying on a bed who wriggles and moans suggestively when you rub your finger over her.

So Apple would not allow this, but we can have like 100 fart apps? That's pretty messed up.

Re:High Standards (5, Funny)

Shatteredstar (1722136) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205152)

So its a cheap softcore porn device? I could see a market for this thing in bars everywhere!

so in other words (5, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205240)

This thing is far more useful than an iPhone!

Re:High Standards (2, Funny)

sdpuppy (898535) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206164)

Now all they have to do is put in tactile feedback, and you've got an iPhone killer !

Re:High Standards (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206450)

It's actually just a (rather old) flash game.

Awesome review (5, Interesting)

DavidR1991 (1047748) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205148)

Ashens did a review of one of these a while ago [youtube.com] (the menu does not look identical, but the resolution of the screen + font seems similar).

Sharing purely because I found it fairly amusing (especially the call dropping feature...)

Is it worse or better? (2, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205160)

A guy I work with has one of these he bought in China. If it has a removable battery and Java it might be a good thing to own.

Ya, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205320)

does the phone work?

Re:Ya, but (5, Insightful)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205336)

Even if it doesn't, that's almost as good as the phone in an iPhone.

SEE!!! (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205162)

This is exactly what the new 'Anti-counterfeiting Treaty' currently being negotiated in secret is meant to protect us from!

Moral of this story - Don't buy a smart phone after you've been drinking all night and especially not one from said bar! I mean, come-on, everyone knows bars don't sell phones they sell hookers and blow!

Re:SEE!!! (2, Interesting)

Shatteredstar (1722136) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205212)

I doubt it will protect us really, afterall I have my own views on how well 'anti-counterfeiting' will work in countries that have repeatedly basically said "We'll do something about it!" then obviously not done anything.

As for moral of the story we can take another from it...

"There is a strong market for cheap thrill devices in bars!"

Re:SEE!!! (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205398)

Why not? It sounds at least as good as any other cheap touchscreen phone at a quarter of the price.

Re:SEE!!! (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205346)

Moral of this story - Don't buy a smart phone after you've been drinking all night and especially not one from said bar!

I seriously thought, for a moment or two, you said "especially not one from the salad bar!"

Re:SEE!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205662)

This is exactly what the new 'Anti-counterfeiting Treaty' currently being negotiated in secret is meant to protect us from!

This is exactly NOT what ACTA is being negotiated for.

ACTA is being negotiated to crush people who share their DVDs, CDs, and games with friends. Destroy people who buy a CD and then load it on their MP3 player. Beat up on people who sample, mix, or otherwise do anything but consume media.

And when I say "crush", "destroy", and "beat up" I mean sue them for everything they have. Sheesh! No wonder it's being negotiated in secret!

Re:SEE!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205884)

everyone knows bars don't sell phones they sell hookers and blow!

You're right, forget the phones.

Better value per dollar (5, Insightful)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205208)

It's even better than the iPhone:
- two SIMs
- user-changeable battery
- unlocked

but here's my favorite:
- "drag and drop files through USB port of computer (No Software Required)"

No mandatory iTunes. Eat that, Steve!

Re:Better value per dollar (3, Insightful)

Shatteredstar (1722136) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205238)

Strange the person may've bought an actual semi useful thing..once they get some of the junk off of it!

Perhaps the bootleggers in this example have actually produced something with some degree of quality/usefulness that surpasses the real one...well at least to the Apple haters out there of course.

Re:Better value per dollar (3, Insightful)

pikine (771084) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205364)

This quote from TFA hits the target right on.

What leaves me speechless is that the SciPhone must represent more work and more value – and more capability – than its £25 asking price, just in terms of cost of development and production. Just about the only way to be stupider than incurring Apple’s wrath with a forgery, is to grossly undervalue the technology you use as part of that forgery. It’s a bit like making a forged pound coin by melting down gold sovereigns

It actually seems to be a very useful device, sold dirt cheap only because the manufacturer couldn't get over the guilt that they're selling counterfeiting iPhone. Now, I only wish they would design and market a legitimate brand to compete with Apple.

Re:Better value per dollar (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205456)

What makes you think that legit sales are even an option? It probably infringes buckets of patents (most obviously the touchscreen) and I'm sure that IE and Java and whatever other software are not legitimately licensed. Since any effort at branding would get them shut down by the FTC and international trade laws, they don't have much of a choice.

But I'd still consider buying one.

Re:Better value per dollar (5, Informative)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205476)

I can speak from experience that Chinese no-name dual-SIM touchscreen phones are way better than their price point and reputation would suggest.

600RMB (~60 EUR) would get you a touchscreen phone from ChangHong with integrated stylus and character recognition (Chinese and Latin, but it's error prone), high resolution display (480*x?), two SIMs, music player, straight mini USB interface, driverless USB mass storage interface, 8GB integrated, up to 32gb via SDHC micro and a 2.5Mpixel camera. And the phone can be set to English (with some Engrish in the mix of course). Bluetooth yes, but no 3G, no WiFi.

It looks like this (I don't know if that is the model I played with, it looks only vaguely similar)
http://img.alibaba.com/photo/263983686/ChangHong-F8-mobile-phone.jpg [alibaba.com]

An interesting feature is text-to-speech for names stored in the address book: it actually read the name of a caller in understandable English. Caller not in the adressbook with CLIP enabled had their numbers spelled aloud. In Chinese only of course :)

One feature I was very content with is the battery time: it has a 4000mAh battery - NiMH, not Li-Ion but still. A solid two weeks of battery power with medium amounts of talking time in between is more than impressive. Within the 600 RMB package was a second identical battery, a charging station, a 5V USB charger that could be substituted with any other 5V USB charger that exists. That way, you could always keep one battery charged and switch as soon as the other battery got low. Memory effect shmemory effect - you'll get a brandnew original battery for 5 EUR, so it's no problem charging the thing whenever you need to. Maybe Li-Ion is overrated and the situation where a memory effect would be noticeable isn't that common. I mean, who recharges their phone daily?

Measured in value-per-dollar, this thing was great. Downsides and eventual deal-breakers were some Engrish remains in the menu but the worst was some menus that were in Chinese only, no translation available. The games for example, but also some SMS sub-menus.

When (not if!) ChangHong gets around to translate the firmware with all submenus and iron out the last kinks, this will devastate the lower end cellphone market.

Re:Better value per dollar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205828)

NiMH doesn't really have a memory effect. That's NiCad you're thinking of.

Re:Better value per dollar (1)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205922)

I'm sure they have, just much much less than NiCd. But why don't most phones have NiMH batteries? NiMHs are dirt cheap, really. The Changhong phone I had was 2.5cm thick. Not iPhone-class, of course, but not bulky either. I'm sure there are a lot of people and professions out there that could really use a 4000mAh battery with 2 weeks of standby time.

Re:Better value per dollar (1)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205946)

Bah, scratch that, I measured it again, it is not 2.5cm but 1.8cm, very similar to a Sony Ericsson W800.

Re:Better value per dollar (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206296)

> NiMH doesn't really have a memory effect. That's NiCad you're thinking of.

Sort of... if you egregiously abuse a NiMH battery by repeatedly recharging it when it's not even halfway discharged, it will eventually start to ACT like a NiCd battery with memory damage. The difference is, unlike NiCd, you can undo almost all of the damage by discharging it to the point where the phone shuts down, fully charging it back up, and repeating a few more times. With NiCd, memory effect is more or less irreversible and permanent.

Re:Better value per dollar (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205976)

touchscreen phone from ChangHong with integrated stylus and character recognition (Chinese and Latin, but it's error prone)

Who sends text messages in Latin these days? The Pope?

Re:Better value per dollar (1)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205988)

This comment is using Latin characters. Thanks for asking.

Re:Better value per dollar (1)

bughunter (10093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206240)

Utor Latin cotidie, vos frigus agrestis.

Lame (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206024)

600RMB (~60 EUR) would get you a touchscreen phone from ChangHong with integrated stylus and character recognition (Chinese and Latin, but it's error prone), high resolution display (480*x?), two SIMs, music player, straight mini USB interface, driverless USB mass storage interface, 8GB integrated, up to 32gb via SDHC micro and a 2.5Mpixel camera. And the phone can be set to English (with some Engrish in the mix of course). Bluetooth yes, but no 3G, no WiFi.

Hmm, so it has less space than a Nomad, and no wireless...

Re:Better value per dollar (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206040)

Chinese no-name dual-SIM touchscreen phones are way better than their price point and reputation would suggest

character recognition (Chinese and Latin, but it's error prone)
And the phone can be set to English (with some Engrish in the mix of course).
Caller not in the adressbook with CLIP enabled had their numbers spelled aloud. In Chinese only of course :)
Downsides and eventual deal-breakers were some Engrish remains in the menu but the worst was some menus that were in Chinese only, no translation available.


Doesn't sound 'way better' to me.

Re:Better value per dollar (1)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206274)

Better than a Zune at least.

Re:Better value per dollar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31206082)

Why cant they put android on this, or at least make it easy to be hacked by us to put android on.

Common chineese people, make a generic phone like a generic PC, and android can be the new 'DOS' for phones, like 80s PCs.

Oh and GPS should be a requirement.

Re:Better value per dollar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31206522)

Err, you wrote NiMH not NiCd. NiMH do not have a memory effect. Cheers.

Re:Better value per dollar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205540)

I wish there were good second / third tier supplier phones out there to buy! I was actually excited when I heard some babble about clones iphones or whatever mentioned,
but disappointed when I found that they apparently clones the wrong part (imho) of the phones. They made the thing physically LOOK LIKE another popular handset, but not with
suitably good functionality / hardware / software inside. Frankly I don't give a damn about 'branded' phones like iPhone, Nokia, whatever. I just want some generic piece of hardware
that I can buy at a commodity price with reasonable quality in the hardware, at least workable software, and basic compatibility with GSM/3G.
Actually I'd prefer if it WASN'T one of the popular 'branded' devices sold by US carriers or Apple or whatever since generally they have the nasty habit of taking a perfectly
reasonable bit of phone hardware and doing stupid things like locking it to a given carrier's network or crippling the firmware / user interface so that you can't do whatever you want
with the software (e.g. no user upgradable OS or Web browser or user supplied games / apps / JAVA programs not authorized by the carrier). I just want to buy a freaking handheld PDA
which happens to have a 3G/GSM phone and GPS included in the mix and runs an otherwise open / unrestricted version of Android or Windows Mobile or whatever that doesn't attempt to restrict
what I do with the phone so there's no need for 'jailbreaking', 'rooting', 'unlocking' etc.
Yes you can buy an unlocked Nexus 1 for like $500 though AFAIK that isn't totally 'open' in terms of what you can do with it in software since IIRC there were comments about various restrictions
between what you can't do (install apps to SD card) or differences in what is permitted in a 'developer handset' vs. a consumer one or whatever.
You can get a Nokia N900 but the software seems still buggy, the phone has Q/C issues that seem offputting for a top of the line handset, and Maemo has no future.
Other than that there are pretty slim pickings for 3G phones you can buy and actually own/control what you've bought and have a full smartphone feature set with modern HW/SW.
Seems like people said there would be a flood of new Android based devices on the market from upstart companies in Asia or whatever taking advantage of the free Android platform, which
at least showed promise for making the 3G smartphone hardware platform an open commodity priced platform with a broad number of vendors (think netbooks) but that does not seem to have happened since there still are only a handful of models you can buy, most crippled/branded/controlled through Verizon, ATT, Tmobile, and the odd european imports from somewhat less restrictive European carriers (SIM unlocked anyway) but still usually crippled and incompatible with some US 3G frequencies.

Hello, Taiwan, *please do* make some "generic" 3G GSM handsets based around Android or Moblin or heck even Symbian or Moblin if those are sufficiently open. Show me a $50-$200 handset with similar specifications to something like a Nexus 1 or HTC HD2 but without the crippled/locked software and the 'brand tax' that something that is associated with a popular near monopoly carrier / brand like HTC/Nokia incurs, and I'll buy a couple. I don't even care much about the style or the sleekness. Heck I'd even rather have one like a brick if it actually was decently designed to be water proof / drop proof / rugged against dust / dirt / scratches and had a double-size battery instead of the ridiculously underpowered low capacity batteries they stick into most handsets these days. Don't clone the STYLE, clone the basic HARDWARE PLATFORM like all generic PCs / NETBOOKS do, basic ARM Snapdragon / Cortex A8 CPU, RAM, FLASH, 3G modem, Android firmware, 4.5" screen, battery, done. Not hard. No reason for these things to cost $400-$500 when a netbook with twice the hardware capability in it costs $220 retail.

Re:Better value per dollar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205636)

I bet you could probably install Linux on that thing!

Sorry dude, it's fake (3, Interesting)

TokyoJimu (21045) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205258)

I recently spotted a waiter with an iPhone in a third-world country so I went over to ask him about it. But it quickly became obvious that it was a fake. The sad thing is, I don't think the guy knew it. He said his mom paid $120 for it but it was basically unusable. You had to press real hard on the screen and the location calibration was way off (I'd played with another fake iPhone when I was in Laos and it was much better than this one). I showed him mine and the way it's supposed to work, with just a light flick of the finger.

Once I'd convinced him it was a fake, he asked me how much fakes like his go for in the U.S. I told him we don't have the fakes because you can get a new real one for $99 (with two-year contract). I ended up talking to the guy for a half-hour and it was a learning experience for both of us. But I felt bad for the guy, having spent several months' salary on a phone that barely worked (and possibly thinking that Apple makes such poor products)

Re:Sorry dude, it's fake (5, Insightful)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205334)

How much is "$99 (with a two year contract)"?

Re:Sorry dude, it's fake (1)

rarel (697734) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205360)

The point is that you pay 99 bucks and leave the store with one. Contract technicalities are another story altogether.

Re:Sorry dude, it's fake (5, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205478)

Not that I want to dispute your overall point of that's what you're counting, but a contract that binds you to another $1700 outlay over 2 years isn't much of a "technicality".

Re:Sorry dude, it's fake (0)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205830)

And your point is? Most cell phones in the US are subsidized. You can pay the $99 and then the 2-yr contract or the unsubsidized price of $599. It's your choice, and it's the same whether you get a Blackberry or an iPhone or a LG, etc.

Another point to make is that Apple has no control over what AT&T will charge you for the contract. No manufacturer does. Nokia can't tell T-mobile nor Sprint nor AT&T what they can charge for rates.

The only point of contention is that the iPhone is only on AT&T at the moment. That also is not unusual. Some cell phone models are exclusive to a single carrier unless you unlock them. Most phones can't be used on some carriers. For example you can't use a T-Mobile Motorola RAZR on Verizon's network. You have to buy a Verizon Motorola RAZR(v3) because it uses a different band.

Re:Sorry dude, it's fake (2, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206038)

Most cell phones in the US are subsidized. You can pay the $99 and then the 2-yr contract or the unsubsidized price of $599. It's your choice...

Apple won't sell me an unlocked iPhone. Amazon doesn't have it, nor does Newegg.

Another point to make is that Apple has no control over what AT&T will charge you for the contract.

Not directly, but the fact that they only sell an AT&T-locked version means that I must go through AT&T to use get one. If Apple wasn't so restrictive, I could buy an unlocked version from them and use it with my existing AT&T account, or my T-Mobile account.

The only point of contention is that the iPhone is only on AT&T at the moment.

As far as I'm concerned, that's like saying "the only difference between 0 and 1 is that they aren't the same."

For example you can't use a T-Mobile Motorola RAZR on Verizon's network. You have to buy a Verizon Motorola RAZR(v3) because it uses a different band.

Ah, but I can buy an unlocked Razr [motorola.com] and use it on either AT&T's network or T-Mobile's network.

Re:Sorry dude, it's fake (2)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206272)

And your point is? Most cell phones in the US are subsidized. You can [etc.]

Everything after your first sentence is irrelevant, because that wasn't his point.

Hal Porter and EvanED's point was that the "$99" genuine iPhone being compared with the fake $120 one in truth would work out significantly more expensive because it was only available at that subsidised price with an expensive contract.

Even if the contract worked out well for some people, it's still misleading to compare the pricepoint of the subsidised iPhone with the (probably) non-tied fake model.

Re:Sorry dude, it's fake (3, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206288)

That is why basically all phones are subsidized. Most people don't know how to count, so they think that $1800 is less than $120.

Re:Sorry dude, it's fake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31206428)

Not really. They assume they're going to have to pay for cellular service in any case, and therefore don't care all that much about the contract.

Re:Sorry dude, it's fake (1)

rarel (697734) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205902)

Oh sure.

Should have put quotes, it was meant as sarcasm. Personally, I think such lock-in contracts are just evil. :/

Re:Sorry dude, it's fake (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206120)

Should have put quotes, it was meant as sarcasm

Fair enough. :-)

Personally, I think such lock-in contracts are just evil. :/

Agreed. (And I practice what I preach on that point too: I've never signed a cell phone contract, and just spent $550 on an unlocked N900.)

Re:Sorry dude, it's fake (2, Insightful)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205848)

That's the can do spirit that has made America what it is today!

Re:Sorry dude, it's fake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205420)

I just checked for my local area. A $99 iPhone requires paying at least $69.99 a month with a two-year contract. That includes a (required) data plan at $30/month and the cheapest cellphone service at $39.99. There's also an activation fee of $36. All totaled, that's $1,814.76.

The cheapest cellphone service is 450 anytime minutes and 5,000 night/weekend minutes. The next step up is $20 more for unlimited night/weekend. And the next step up is another $10 for unlimited anytime.

Re:Sorry dude, it's fake (1)

TokyoJimu (21045) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205492)

True, it all adds up. But still, people in the U.S. (and most other developed countries, I suspect) don't buy fake iPhones.

Re:Sorry dude, it's fake (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205774)

    It all depends. How easy is it to get one? If I knew there was a guy in town that had a knock-off phone shop, and he'd warranty it for a year, I'd spend the $40 with him, rather than full price elsewhere, or to be tied into a perpetual contract. Hell, if he warrantied it for 6 months, he'd probably get my sale.

    I'm one of many, who usually don't qualify for the discounted 2 year plans, so my choices (if I wanted an iPhone) would be the full retail no-contract rate, which I believe is somewhere in the ballpark of $400, or one of the unsubsidized phones for $40. If I go through less than 10 phones in 2 years, I'm still ahead. :)

Botnet (4, Interesting)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205296)

I wouldn't at all be surprised, especially for the rediculously low selling price, if it's got botnet software embedded right into it, and this is part of an overall plan to create a wireless and mobile botnet. Either that, or a tool for direct identity theft or worse.

Re:Botnet (1)

mr exploiter (1452969) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206160)

I wouldn't be surprised either if the the devices sold by American companies had same backdoor for government wire-taping. Oh wait this is already happening.

Re:Botnet (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206210)

I got to agree. My bet is that they're grabbing credit card numbers and bank information.

Re:Botnet (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206282)

Probably also shows up as a drive for Windows with a handy autorun.inf for installing said software. "Please to type administrator password for the sync"

Where the hell can I get one? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205326)

An iPhone running Windows Mobile 6.x?

In other words, an iPhone that can run GS Player and Opera? And can use it as USB storage? And for $40?

I'm sorry, but I don't see a down side here.

News Flash: (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205342)

When you buy a name-brand item from someone you don't know on the street or in a bar, you get a cheap knock-off.

Film at eleven.

Re:News Flash: (3, Funny)

KaimaraZatar (1267396) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205422)

"When you buy a name-brand item from someone you don't know..."

Well, you could take the time to get to know them. But they'd probably still sell you the cheap knock-off.

Re:News Flash: (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205602)

And all this time I thought if I were to buy a name-brand product for dirt cheap at a bar that it would be stolen property.

Probably in the states its more likely to be stolen at least rather than a knock-off. Knock-offs are more likely at the flea markets in the states rather than at bars.

Re:News Flash: (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206284)

Generally speaking, the same holds in the UK as well- if a guy offers you something in a pub at a cheapass price, it's likely stolen. Though I guess it *could* be a scammer floggeing fakes to people who think- and don't care- that they're getting stolen but genuine goods at a cheap price.

Re:News Flash: (1)

Deadguy2322 (761832) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206370)

Maybe it is a stolen knock-off!

WARNING I have a friend (-1, Troll)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205400)

One of my colleagues in China recently bought one of these for his college-age daughter, as a sort of joke. OK, so in the first 10 minutes of owning it he finds this app with the lady...not so good. But still maybe worth gifting to SOMEBODY as a joke. So he puts it in his pants pocket, gets back to his hotel, and falls asleep watching TV.

Next day he comes into work with a strange rash on his neck. He looks surprised, says something about it being the same undershirt he wore yesterday. Somebody says, "hey Len take your shirt off," so he does, and LO AND BEHOLD the rash is like 50x worse down by his belt. He takes his trousers off, peeks beneath his boxers and sort of yelps.

There the "iphone" he bought had partially merged into his leg -- he now has a touch screen in his lower hip. Freaking disgusting.


Alright, so I made that whole story up. But man, if Chinese technology isn't so exciting and freaking scary at the same time!!!! Let that be a lesson to you.

Re:WARNING I have a friend (3, Funny)

trmj (579410) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205586)

Alright, so I made that whole story up.

That was obvious from the subject line.

Re:WARNING I have a friend (2, Funny)

nextekcarl (1402899) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205618)

Sounds like a better premise than the the last ~500 movies of the week on Syfy.

Re:WARNING I have a friend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31206404)

I'd watch it.

Does he have to fight a giant ice spider as an earthquake spontanteously causes volcanos to gush forth boa constrictors?

Re:WARNING I have a friend (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206434)

You got something against snakes?

Youtube video review (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205440)

Here's an interesting video review of a fake iPhone on Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2tVE7qRLwk [youtube.com]

for the money, you still have a better deal ... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205446)

... than this guy [englishrussia.com] .

And that "Asian lady lying on a bed who wriggles and moans suggestively when you rub your finger over her. " is exactly the Axe Feather game [gamedition.com] ; wonder if they actually ported Flash to that phone.

Re:for the money, you still have a better deal ... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205886)

That's a wonderfully 'legitimate' looking website...

"full lowdown"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205592)

A full description would have been most interesting, but this was just a glance description. From TFA's own author: "I got my hands on it for basically 2 15 minute contacts."

Please re-title as What /. Gets When You Buy a $40 Editor In a Bar.

Great timing (2, Interesting)

rsayers (987262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205644)

I *just* ordered one of these from eBay yesterday. I needed a cheap unlocked phone, this option was cheaper than most name-brand used phones and at the price I paid, I won't be terribly upset if it's complete garbage.

Re:Great timing (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205722)

On one hand, what possible use is a phone that actually doesn't work?

On the other hand, what fun is it to play with an obvious iPhone knockoff?

See? I could have been an economist... ''other hand' [quotationsbook.com] ... In fact,

I might actually be one now...

Re:Great timing (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206188)

this option was cheaper than most name-brand used phones and at the price I paid, I won't be terribly upset if it's complete garbage.

Why would you pay actual money for 'complete garbage'?
Ok, $5 maybe. But I've got a bag of actual garbage I'll sell you for $10, if you want it.

HiPhone Clone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31205666)

I bought a HiPhone a while ago, and promptly sold it for being amateur hardware.

It was a reasonable fascimile, but anyone who compares it to the real thing wouldn't be fooled for a moment.

Of course, a HiPhone isn't a counterfeit (I guess), but a clone. I'm not sure if there's a real difference, but it too supported a number of features I liked over the iPhone, including dual SIM, expandable memory, and being unlocked.

It was still awful, so I bought a Sony Ericsson and just when it was getting time to upgrade, the Nexus One was released.

I can't even imagine using a regular phone now.

So? (1)

hduff (570443) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205740)

. . . a bizarre auxiliary battery festooned with warnings about not pressing a button mounted on the front of the top-up device.

What happened when you pressed the button?

Re:So? (4, Funny)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205802)

the universe was completely destroyed and replaced by another universe, identical to the first except it was one in which the button had not been pressed.

Re:So? (5, Funny)

Existential Wombat (1701124) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205818)

A notice comes up saying "Please Do Not Press This Button Again"

Re:So? (1)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206200)

Well, I got the reference even if no mods did.

Re:So? (1)

Existential Wombat (1701124) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206338)

You are so kind!

maybe it's better? (2, Insightful)

darrenkopp (981266) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205782)

i bet it'll run flash before the iphone does.

I've been using one for the last year (2, Informative)

johnny6vasquez (688226) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205814)

I initially bought one of these as a joke.

At first I hated it, but it really grew on me. Having an unlocked iPhone form-factor phone, that I can transfer anything I want to it, pictures, music, movies, all over usb, is really nice. I took it traveling and really liked having two batteries, especially after I started reading books on it. Say what you want about the new eBook readers, but I love having a backlit screen that can fit in my pocket, fit hundreds of books on microSD cards, and has a backup battery. I could read clearly at night in bed or waiting for the subway in poorly lit areas.

It's really funny to watch an iPhone user try to use my phone, because even though it looks nearly the same, the screen handles way differently, needing more of a tap than a slide.

I wouldn't buy one of these for running apps on, I would just use it for an eBook reader and phone. That's all I wanted out of it and it exceeded my initial expectations.

This is the one I have: http://product.madeinchina.com/CECT-i9-Quadband-Unlocked-Dual-Sim-PDA-Smart-phone/10618567.shtml [madeinchina.com]

If all you want is a unlocked phone and eBook reader with awesome battery life, give it a try. But the article is right that it can't compare to an iPhone. The user interface sucks compared to Apple's product, especially when you move into the submenus.

Re:I've been using one for the last year (1)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205878)

What's the OS? Does it run Mobibook reader?

WTF? (1)

Dorsai65 (804760) | more than 4 years ago | (#31205958)

What the hell did he THINK he was going to get for his money? In a freakin' BAR?

fake blackberry, money well spent (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31206006)

I recently bought a fake blackberry at the Official Beijing Fake Market for 40$, and I love it. (I think the case is similar to the Blackberry 8900)

Dual sim, QWERTY keyboard, good screen, fast (and stable) firmware, excellent battery time (thanks to 3700mAH battery), bluetooth, can be used as a webcam via USB, TV Tuner, and the list goes on! It even has a lot of options my previous 'real' phones did not have, like saving texts directly to MMC. (8gb supported).

Here's the kicker:
It's a full J2ME phone so I managed to install many apps, including Google Maps and Opera 5.2, which both work excellent.

It's excellent build quality, but if this one breaks I'm buying a "Chinese Copy Phone" again.

Googles real intention now becomes clear. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31206354)

With open source operating systems available to replace the legally dubious copies of Windows Mobile and Nucleus RTOS that these phones use at present, the chinese phone market will not only have a flourishing Android ecosystem itself, but be able to sell these phones into the west with little impediment. . Genius Google, pure genius.

They're all over the place... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#31206432)

You see the iphone-wannabes on ebay, craigslist, etc, all the time. Even more impressive is how little time it takes the counterfeiters to crank out the clones. A while ago I did a search on ebay for the blackberry 8520 - which is a pretty recent model - and came up with quite a few clones along with the genuine phones. They even list them as "8520", and they fake the RIM blackberry logo, but they don't mention until the end of the listing that the phone is is a fake. A fake with many similar features and a much lower price, that is.
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