This image is an iPhone, right? Look again. This is an illegal iPhone copy made in China that I found was being sold in Dubai. A client of mine bought this from a vendor in Dubai about a week ago while I was there. Apart from the obvious legal ramifications of this device (I’ll leave that to Apple), the impact on the market will be significant. My client bought this iPhone copy for 300 Dirhams (about $82 USD).
In our report for PhoCusWright, we predicted a flood of smartphone copies in 2009. This clear ripoff of the iPhone is characteristic of what will be common phenomenon throughout Asia. As long as the wireless carriers go along, illegal copies like these will flourish and significantly increase the penetration of smartphones in the market. It is unclear if this phone would access an app store. BTW if you didn’t notice, the key difference between a real iPhone and this illegal copy is that it only has four rows versus five on the main screen.