Apple Watch clones beat the real thing to market
Updated: 2015-03-13 09:57
By Gao Yuan / Emma Glez(China Daily)
Copycat versions of Apple Inc's smartwatch are already available on Taobao.com, a shopping website owned by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. [Wang Zhuangfei/China Daily]
Weeks before Apple Inc's first smartwatch hit the stores, Chinese resellers are already selling cheap resemblances online.
Selling at around 300 yuan ($47.9) on Taobao, a vibrant shopping website owned by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, the "D Watch" has become an instant popular gadget for Chinese buyers.
The device has most of the features of the Apple product, including step tracks, calendar and Bluetooth-enabled remote camera control. It is also equipped with a square glass screen that is identical to the Apple Watch.
But the differences are obvious too. The D Watch has a unique user interface because it uses Google Inc's Android operating system instead of Apple's own iOS. The resolution of the screen also lags far behind that of the real Apple Watch.
Shenzhen, Guangdong-based YQT Electronic Technology Co Ltd is the manufacturer of the smartwatches.
Zheng Yi, chief executive of YQT, said the D Watch is targeting buyers who see the product as a fashion accessory.
"It is a cool device although the overall performance is not as good as the Apple Watch," Zheng said, adding the company is producing 20,000 to 30,000 Apple Watch look-alikes each month.
"We made some changes in design (on the smartwatch) and applied for a patent for the product," he said. "We have been making smartwatches and fitness bands for eight years. We know what we are doing."
YQT, which employs about 100 people, was an original equipment manufacturer that made gadgets for overseas brands. Up to 70 percent of its products are sold outside China.
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