Chinese counterfeit phones are nothing new, counterfeit Apple Stores, now that’s something new!

We have all seen pictures of fake iPhones coming out of China but blogger BirdAbroad discovered something far more impressive on her travels. She walked into a fake Apple Store in the Chinese town of Kunming.

The products appear to be real Apple products so at least that is one bit of good news. Unfortunately though, Apple does not have stores in this part of China. The store could be an approved re-seller, if that is the case it has really over stepped the mark with its blatant Apple branding and attempt to copy a real Apple Store model.

RP and I went inside and poked around. They looked like Apple products. It looked like an Apple store. It had the classic Apple store winding staircase and weird upstairs sitting area. The employees were even wearing those blue t-shirts with the chunky Apple name tags around their necks.

Sadly, the staff in the store believe they are working for Apple too. Security and sales staff did try and prevent the blogger from taking photos. Strangely when she explained that she worked for Apple, they were allowed to take some more pictures.

Apparently this store is one of three in close proximity. In fact one of the stores even has a sign calling it an “Apple Stoer”. I can’t see these fake Apple Stores being around for too much longer!

[BirdAbroad via AppleInsider]

 

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chrisoldroyd

UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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Reader comments

Chinese counterfeit phones are nothing new, counterfeit Apple Stores, now that’s something new!

12 Comments

"The store could be an approved re-seller, if that is the case it has really over stepped the mark with its blatant Apple branding and attempt to copy a real Apple Store model."
Not sure I agree with that statement, Chris. I can send you a number of pics of official resellers here in Thailand (iStudio, iBeat and uStore) which must maintain the official look, although they do get stoer right.

Actually there are many of these around Asia. Bootleg Apple stores but selling genuine Apple stuff which are 3rd party parellel imports. Warranty is covered by the store itself.

"...I can’t see these fake Apple Stores being around for too much longer!..."
I don't agree with this statement. If they are making money why would they not be around much longer?

I've been to an Apple authorized reseller in Zurich that looked exactly like an Apple store. It's possible that this is a knock-off, but I wouldn't be shocked to find that this Chinese store is a legit reseller.

There is an Apple authorized reseller in Kunming. here's the information from the Apple web site. (not owned by Apple, just authorized to sell the products)
Kun Ming South Origin Computer Co.Ltd (email)
No.14,Yuantong North Road, Kunming, Yunnan
Kunming
Telephone: 0871-3188086

Im IN Shanghai right now and these stores are all over the place around China....They sell real stuff in them but they are like the article says....Not authorized....
Im here for another week if you want pics, vids, whatever....
brownjj0@hotmail.

The store may be "fake", but the story (and original source) completely bypasses the most important question - Are they selling "real" Apple hardware, or is it all fake?
One would think that would be easy to find out (play with the devices, are they running iOS on real hardware), but noone did that.
Because it doesn't seem so far-fetched that a non-authorized retailer would sell actual Apple hardware.