As Apple gears up to launch its new smartwatch the lamentable yet inevitable tide of fakes has already begun.
The technology giant’s smartwatch is rumoured to be launched in March this year, but at the highly publicised Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2015) in Las Vegas, Nevada, last week a Chinese company was spotted by reporters selling allegedly fake versions of the product.
According to Karissa Bell of the news site Mashable, a Shenzhen-based company named Hyperdon was showing off a fake version of the Apple Watch at the event.
Bell says she bought one of the devices for a mere $27 - Apple said last year however that its watch would start at around $349 (£215).
According to Bell, the device she purchased looked much like the real thing and featured several icons that are identical to those found on a genuine Apple Watch.
It could also be connected to the company’s new smartphone the iPhone 6, allowing her to make phone calls and play music through the device.
Hyperdon has since released a statement saying it sells its products in retail stores in the US and China, but did not detail where its locations are.
Apple has been a major target for counterfeiters for years with all of its products – from iPads and iPhones to iPods and Macs, all succumbing to attacks from fakes.
But this may be the first time the firm has had to deal with a counterfeiter before it has even launched a product - and seemingly so brazenly at one of the world’s largest technology conferences in its native country. Apple has not made any public statement about the story.
Apple and the wearables market
The Apple Watch is set to inject some much needed life in the health wearables market, which already has products such as FitBit and the (now defunct) Nike FuelBand, as well as smartwatches from South Korean firm Samsung, Motorola and Sony.
Apple unveiled its long-rumoured smartwatch to the world along with its new iPhones and a payment system in September last year.
The Apple Watch comes with an app that promises to calculate all kinds of data including heart rate, calories burned and other metrics in one place – and can also count how many stairs you climb. It will also be linked to the new firm’s new range of iPhones (in fact it requires a wearer to own an iPhone 5 or 6 range in order to work).
Even though far behind its rivals, Apple is expected to reinvigorate a sluggish wearables market, which to date has not generated high revenue for the firms involved.
This is because smartwatches have yet to become must-have accessories, although Apple has a history of bringing products to the market which are already catered for, and then making them more attractive to consumers through its marketing muscle and brand recognition.
Image courtesy of:
aradaphotography / Shutterstock.com