Apple iPad copy China's product ???

2 02 2010

A Chinese company is claiming that its iPad knockoff is in fact an original design that has been copied by Apple. The P88 has been on the market in China for six months. It’s easy to recognize: It looks just like a big iPhone.

Xiaolong Wu, the president of the Shenzhen Great Loong Brother company that makes the P88, gave an interview to Spanish national newspaper El Mundo. If the iPad comes to China, he says, “We won’t have any choice but to report them,” because “it will certainly affect our sales.” The charge? Oddly, El Mundo reports the crime as “plagiarism,” although we assume it means IP or copyright infringement.

Wu says that Apple has not only copied the concept of a multitouch tablet, but also the design of the case and screen bezel. And pre-empting our obvious criticism, that the P88 is just a large-scale iPhone or iPod Touch rip-off, Wu says that “they have nothing to do with it, as they have completely different functions.”

As you can see from the picture above, Wu is being rather generous when he describes the P88 and the iPad as “completely identical”. The specs tell a different story. The 10.2-inch screen isn’t multitouch (it uses resistive touch), the P88 uses a hard-drive (250 GB), has an Ethernet port, a 1.3-MP webcam and Intel 945GSE chipset (likely to be paired with an Atom CPU, not listed) with a gig of RAM. It also runs Windows.

The kicker, though, is the battery life, low even for a keyboard-less netbook, which is what this is. Without the power cord you get just 1.5 (claimed) hours.

The whole story is ridiculous, and most likely a cheap play for publicity. Anyone confusing the two products deserves the P88. What is clear is that the Chinese company squeezed a (very bad) netbook into an oversized iPhone-style case and claimed to have some kind of ownership of this design. Good luck, Mr. Wu.

And one final thing. How much do you think this “cheap” Chinese copy might cost? It is $525. Oops.