The pride of Chinese Fakes
I want to briefly share an interesting story about a fake iPod I came across earlier in the week. At work, it turns out someone had tried to return a Apple iPod Nano 8Gb they had bought, substituting the Apple iPod for a cheap fake. The circumstances surrounding this are a bit sketchy as I was not there at the time, the first time I came across it was when the fake iPod nano was returned by Apple with a polite and bemused letter to the effect that Apple only services original hardware. Intregued, I took another look at the iPod nano.
As you can see, from the outside it is a very good quality fake – the screen looks a little strange but there are no marks or variations which would immediately suggest this product is a fake. The back plate is engraved correctly with the appropraite logos and serial numbers, although there is a small circular hole on the back plate which should not be there.
On switching on the iPod however, it becomes immediately apparent it is not a geniune article, the unit took a few seconds to boot during which it displayed a strange egg time icon immediately followed by an odd screen with an Apple logo and an animated message saying ‘Loading…”.
The low resolution screen looks awful and the user interface, although trying to copy the iPod interface, clearly fails to impress.
The scroll wheel doesn’t work, nor does the middle button. To move from entry to entry, you have to press the left and right buttons (for up and down respectfully) along with ‘Menu’ to enter into an option.
Entering any of the menu options results in this bland and annoying message for a few seconds.
The Music section looks as though the skin has been copied from WinAMP. Apart from the initial menu, no effort has been made to recreate or emulate the Apple iPod interface in any of the ‘functions’ of this device. Song and albumn navigation is rudimentary and feels more reminiscant of a portable CD player than a modern MP3 player.
The photo / picture option takes you to a very unfriendly file browser with no previews.
I never did get far into the movies function given that the machine appartently was devoid of movie content. Next up is the radio function. I didnt test if this would tune into anything but at least it is a feature not found in original Apple iPods.
Voice recording, another first for the clone! Unfortunately it didn’t seem to want to record anything and I quickly moved on.
The eBook feature simply took me to a screen saying Empty Disk and promptly switched off the machine.
And of course the essential “Good Bye” screen, you will be seeing a lot of it as the battery is terrible, the clone performs poorly and frequently switches off at random. I have no idea what a fake iPod like this would cost, but the only value I can see it having would be in situations like these where people try to con refunds on their original Apple products (or as a film prop), I pity anyone who would consider using this as a functional MP3 player.