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A month before Apple watch launch, lookalikes on sale in China

A month before Apple watch launch, lookalikes on sale in China
A month before the launch of Apple’s smartwatch in China, its imitations are already on sale in the country’s southern Shenzhen City which is a hub for copycat manufacturing. Smartwatches named “U Watch” or “D Watch” boasting similar look and function to Apple watches are being sold at around 200 yuan ($32.5) each, less than one-tenth of the price of the cheapest Apple Watch.

There is no Apple logo on the products. The Chinese version resembles the American one in
appearance, but most have crude workmanship, state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.

The Apple smartwatch would be launched in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US next month. The Apple’s smartwatches would be sold at about 400 yuan each. The Chinese version can receive calls, use text messaging and has a music player. However, features such as popular messaging apps Wechat and QQ are absent.

Some sellers say the products resemble Apple Watch more in its appearance than performance.

Such products have been sold online since January. Some sellers at Huaqiangbei area of Shenzhen City said an improved iOS-friendly version is being produced. Huangqiangbei has been a grey market known for selling copycat electronics.

Meanwhile, huge outgo in spectrum auction by telecom operators will increase rates for mobile calls and other services in India in the long term, although it may not have any immediate impact on tariffs, industry body COAI said on Friday.

“Not immediate, its going to take about nine months to a year before you begin to start seeing the impact in terms of the implementation, roll out, investment in new equipment, all of these things have to happen,” COAI Director General Rajan S Mathews said when asked about the impact of spectrum auction on tariffs. He, however, added in the longer term, tariffs have to increase as the input cost of operators have been rising.

“In the longer term, from the industry perspective you can’t see how you continue to increase the input cost and not expect the output cost to increase. This just don’t make economic sense,” he said. The proceeds from the spectrum auction has already crossed Rs 1 lakh crore mark as aggressive bidding took place across all bands on the eighth day of the biggest sale of 2G and 3G airwaves.

The amount is expected to rise further as there is spectrum which is yet to be sold. Incumbents Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications are locked in horns with Reliance Jio and others to protect their existing spectrum holding in the ongoing auction that is crucial for providing mobile services.
PTI

PTI

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