Why the "Fake Apple Store" blowup says more about us than China

22 July 2011

The news of a "Fake Apple Store" has been exploding online for the past few days as media outlets salivate over the audacity of China producing not only counterfeit Vuitton bags and iPhones but also a store down to the last gleaming white surface and wooden accent. Imagine! The nerve! Headlines screamed about "A new high for piracy in China" and triumphantly wagged a finger about how "Fake Apple store cuts to core of China risk to brands".

As it often goes online, reality is often a little different than the angle being spun. Andrew Orlowski at The Register quickly put a damper on the story by noting that Apple resellers abound in China and the fact that an Apple store isn't an Apple Store (note the capital 'S') doesn't mean it isn't authorised by Apple to sell legitimate Apple products. Even in a European capital such as Berlin there is no "legitimate" Apple store and only Fake Apple Stores abound (just to be clear to any random reader the Gravis stores are entirely legitimate and authorised by Apple).

In the end the big kerfluffle says a lot more about our paranoia and fear of a rising China and not much about how Berlin is thick with copycat Apple stores. I suppose we don't really care about whether an abundance of Apple resellers responding to a strong demand for luxury products by a burgeoning middle class indicates a booming modern China - we just want assurance that whatever we see in China is a false, thin facade masking an inferior product.

Perhaps we should be more concerned with the veracity of our news facade.

7 comments

  • Another A.
    There's also 'fake apple stores' in Edinburgh, Brighton and Kensington http://www.cancomuk.com/our-stores/apple-premium-reseller The one in Edinburgh doesn't do iPhone repairs though... so it's still a trip to Glasgow to the official outlet.
  • Michael
    Dunno if there still is since a "real" Apple Store opened but there used to be 3 or 4 in Brighton!
  • Bloke
    There's an Apple shop (fake or real, don't know, don't care) in a shopping centre in San Jose, Costa Rica called iCon. At least they're being honest.
  • crap
    Have Apple patented their store layouts? No. So unless these "fake" stores are claiming to actually be Apple, then they aren't "fake". By labeling these independent businesses (simply trying to save some marketing costs) as fakes, you're simply exposing yourselves as d!ck riding Apple fanboys, a.k.a. Andy Dawson.
  • Paul N.
    Did you even read the article???
  • crap
    Did you even read my comment??? My dig was at the journalists that made these "fake" stores into news articles. Oh there was a subtle dig at Andy too.
  • colin
    How come my post never made it onto here? You know, the one I made about BW being one of the so called media outlets salivating over the audacity of China producing not only counterfeit Vuitton bags and iPhones but also a store down to the last gleaming white surface and wooden accents?

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