By NICK BILTON
Apple products have always been coveted by other electronics makers, especially Chinese manufacturers. The company’s products are so sought after that some electronic makers actually create fake replicas of iPods, iPhones and Mac computers, which are sold in electronics stores and online marketplaces.
Now Apple has to contend with a new genre of copycats, those who are actually replicating Apple Store retail locations and setting up shop around the world.
The fake stores are selling real Apple products, though it’s unclear how they’re procured.
I saw one of these stores late last year when I took a trip to Quito, Ecuador. Although the store promoted itself as a genuine Apple location, it was clearly fake. The store design and employees were clearly out of character.
According to a recent post on the blog BirdAbroad written by an American woman currently living in Kunming, China, fake Apple stores are starting to pop up everywhere in the area. The writer notes that at first glance these stores look so real that it’s hard to determine if they are knockoffs or are actually owned by Apple.
A quick search of Apple’s retail store locations online show that the company does not have a store in Kunming.
CBT in China: Chinese Business Technology