The fakes have the same design and style of Apple’s (AAPL, Tech30) new offering, even down to the digital crown. With names like “A.I Watch” and “D-Watch,” they cost between 250 Yuan and 500 Yuan ($40 to $80).
Most are running on an Android operating system, not iOS, that looks like an Apple interface. They even have the Apple-like icons on the home screen. But the price tag should help with identifying the real from the fake. The real ones will cost from $349 in the US.
The availability of the knockoffs shows the speed at which the Chinese shanzhai, or counterfeiters, bring fakes to market.
In this case, their products are on the street before Apple has released theirs.
“The Apple Watch is a prime target the first few copycat watches will be rough imitations,” he said “but as counterfeiters hone their design, they will get closer and closer to the real thing”.
“The hardware is not the big challenge—the hard part is on the software and the application side,” he said. “In the end, you sometimes need to be an expert to tell the difference between real and fake.”
The day of fakes has only just began.