Apple Watch clones beat the real thing to the market

Beijing: Weeks before Apple Inc’s first smartwatch hit the stores, Chinese resellers are already selling cheap resemblances online.

Selling at 300 yuan (RM180) on Taobao, a shopping website owned by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, the “D Watch” has become a popular gadget for Chinese buyers.

The device has most of the features of the Apple product, including step tracks, a 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 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 targets 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 that 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.”

But the important question is if these copycat versions represent a threat to the California-based company.

Neil Shah, a technology analyst at Counterpoint Research, said: “There should not be any impact on the sales of the Apple Watch as the consumers looking to buy cheap copies are not Apple’s target consumers anyway.” — China Daily / Asia News Network

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