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Real iPhones via official distributors

Fortress - Official iPhone distributor

Fortress - Official iPhone distributor

iPhones on sale at Fortress

iPhones on sale at Fortress

Official iPhone gets a looksee from window shoppers at the Dragon Center Mobile City Store - one of four authorized distributors in Hong Kong

Official iPhone gets a look-see from window shoppers at the Dragon Center Mobile City Store

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Official iPhone distributors in Hong Kong:

  • “3” Shop – owned by Hutchison the official iPhone carrier in Hong Kong
  • Fortress
  • Mobile City
  • Broadway
  • Apple’s online HK store

Sham Shui Po Street Market

Here (below) are few photos of Shanzhai “counterfeit” iPhones found in the Sham Shui Poi Street Market in Kowloon, Hong Kong. Many of these handsets don’t claim to be iPhones, they simply mimic iPhone as best they can. Imitation isn’t always the sincerest form of flattery. No matter how the Shanzhai manufacturers try to spin it, this is IP ripoff pure and simple.

As I described in some detail in Travelogue Part 5 (Read > HERE), a few Shanzhai iPhone models may come close to matching the external look of an iPhone; however, when it comes to actual performance, these iClones fail horribly. In a word, they suck.

Kowloon Bus Boy with his new iPhone

Kowloon Bus Boy with his new (real) iPhone

Throughout my China trip I met many working class citizens who understood the value of owning a real iPhone. While wages in China are below western standards, the cost of living is low and the savings rate is high. Rainy day money is sometimes used to purchase a high value item such as an iPhone. My guide in Shanghai, Rebecca, made only a modest wage and yet she was the proud owner of an 8GB iPhone 3G. During my last day in Hong Kong I happened upon a busboy (photo at right) who was on break outside his restaurant. He was surfing the Net on his new (real) iPhone. People will find a way to own the real deal.

Shanzhai ji (fake) iPhones

All of the snapshots below were taken on Apliu Street - mobile phone row – in the Sham Shui Po District

Sham Shui Po Street Market

Sham Shui Po Street Market

Apilu is Mobile Phone Row

Apliu is Mobile Phone Row

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Jail-breaking on Apilu Street

Jail-breaking on Apliu Street

iPhone about to be unlocked on Apilu

iPhone about to be unlocked on Apliu

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