2010/06/02

World's first iPad lookalike on sale in China

HONG KONG, June  1, 2010 (AFP) - Apple may have sold two million of its new iPad tablet computers in less than two months, but it now has a Chinese challenger -- the identical looking iPed.

Apple's iPad is not, officially, even on sale yet in China but the iPed can be bought in Shenzhen, southern China, for almost a fifth of the price of the US price of Apple's gadget.

The world's first iPad lookalike runs on Google's Android operating system, is apparently powered by an Intel chip and sells for 105 dollars. The basic model iPad sells in the US for 499 dollars.

Pictures of the iPed, filmed by Japanese TV news and posted on YouTube, show the gadget being sold in a Shenzhen computer mall in packaging that even looks like an iPad box.

The change in vowel is seemingly the only major difference in appearance between the two gadgets.

A review of the iPed on tech website TECHi says "the iPed is exactly what you're thinking: a Chinese knock-off."

"The iPed is an Intel-driven, Android-based copycat packaged like an Apple product and, to be honest -- it doesn't look half bad."

Last week, Apple and its contract electronics manufacturer Foxconn refused to confirm or deny rumours that the iPad was being made at Foxconn's massive Shenzhen factory, which has been hit by a spate of staff suicides.

Apple, now the largest US technology company by value, said Monday it had sold two million iPads, outdoing even the iPhone on its launch.

Last Friday, the flat, 10-inch (25-centimetre) black tablet computer that Apple claims will revolutionise the industry went on sale in Australia, Japan, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.

Demand in the United States was so strong that the company pushed back the global roll-out. It goes on sale in nine more countries in July, including Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Last week, Apple dethroned software giant Microsoft as the largest US technology company in terms of market value.