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Meizu update shows cloned iPhone music UI

updated 09:40 am EDT, Fri October 19, 2007

Meizu M8 Clones iPhone UI

Meizu's M8 copy of the iPhone will take even more direct cues from the Apple device with its interface, according to an update from the Chinese company's chief, Jack Wong. While stopping short of claiming similarity, the executive has published information revealing that the user interface for music will effectively duplicate the Apple phone's iPod section, including the ability to view covers while browsing albums and the alphabet strip that helps users jump to a particular letter in the catalog. The abilities to scrub through a track by dragging the timeline or to issue a star rating will also be intact, Wong notes. Minor extras like a sound spatializer effect are available.

The Meizu chief remained silent on any other changes to the device, which continues to resemble the iPhone in appearance. Prior release indicators remain the same and would have Meizu release the M8 in China before the end of 2007 at prices between the equivalents of $259 and $453 for models that store between 4GB and 16GB of flash memory. The M8 is not expected to leave its home country due to stricter copyright laws in other countries.

by MacNN Staff




  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Very amusing...

    I remember, back in the 70's and 80's, you could see the same thing in the Soviet Union. They would send someone to buy a western product, then reverse-engineer it and build their own. Cars (Lada, Zhiguli, Volga), aircraft engines, and many other products were results of western technology theft and reverse engineering.

    Soviet Union (and now Russia) have long abandoned that. We are now in 21st century and China seems to have no problem doing exactly the same thing. I'm sure eventually they will be brought to account; until then, Chinese market will continue to be rather difficult to compete in.

  1. stainboy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    why don't they cut the BS

    ...and just sell it as the "Meizu iPhone"? it's such a blatant rip-off anyway, might as well come clean on it.

    hey, why bother putting together an R&D department, when we can just build our business on cloning Apple products?

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Relatively cheap...

    for a device you'll use every day for two years. A leather jacket or a decent watch can cost that much. I agree that subsidized phones are practically free but $400 is not that big a deal for most Americans. Most of the cost is that darn carrier contract.

  1. psdenno

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's not just.....

    ...the Russians and the Chinese who learn from the success of others. The Japanese copied British sports cars when they introduced their's in the late 1960s (Datsun 2000 -MG- and Datsun 240Z -Austin Healey). We even do it in the good old USA. GM buys and tears down cars built by Lexus, Ford, and others. It's kind of how the world works. So, suck it up and move on. :o)

  1. lockhartt

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Agree with your statement in the examples you highlight, but there's a difference between learning from the competition and near exact copying/cloning... which is what we have in Meizu's case.

    This is the reason there are patents (the sad state of affairs in this area notwithstanding)... it's Ok to learn from the competition (through legitimate means), but it's not Ok to directly copy things that represent the unique intellectual property of the competition. Without this protection (again, let's talk about it in terms of how things are supposed to work as opposed to how the current patent system is being abused), there would be absolutely no incentive for anyone to engage in R&D or drive any form of innovation.

  1. DCW

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Possible lawsuit?

    Or has Apple sued this maker (or ANY maker), for their blatant copying? I'm not too sure how the law works, so I'll leave that for the more enlightened, but it seems that Apple could have a legit beef against Meizu. At any rate, I doubt it runs OSX or syncs as fluidly with my PowerBook, but I am interested to know if Apple goes after the copycats. -dcw

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969



    AT&T should be happy for the Apple Stores, as if it were just up to AT&T to sell it, the numbers would be far smaller.

    AT&T stores, at least the ones I went to in California, are notorious in trying to steer customers away from iPhone, and towards some c*** phone that the salesmen get paid better spiffs on. Sadly.

    Between the "Let me show you a better phone" and the "Don't buy one now, Apple will release a better one in December", I'm surprised they sell any at all.

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969


    send in the clones...

    As vasic points out: "ars (Lada, Zhiguli, Volga), aircraft engines, and many other products were results of western technology theft and reverse engineering."

    ...and Apple was no stranger to having their products cloned:

    Ah, good times, good times....

    Either way, the Meizu may enjoy *very* brief sales, until Apple hits the Asian market, but if it can't leave the Chinese market, it is almost a stillborn.

    - At the price they want for it, it is pretty much out of reach of most middle class Chinese, and rich Chinese (I hesitate to use 'high' class, as they simply lack any) will not want to be seen with a 'copy' product.

    - China, and many Asian countries are extremely status driven, which mandates purchases of the real thing, which is why iPhones (real ones) sell in Hong Kong for $1,500.

    - Look at the iPod Touch, and you will see that Apple is ready for Chinese localization (included in 1.1.1 already), and by the time they hit the Asian market, the iPhone will most likely cost the same, or insignificantly more than the Meizu product, making it an obvious decision to buy Apple's - also, it will offer more hardware features by next year.

    On the other hand, Kudos to Meizu for actually an earnest effort at reverse engineering - I understand that unlike many cheaper iPhone clones (which run Windows Mobile), the Meizu runs Linux as the base, and they go to extremes to actually, genuinely, reverse engineer the Apple product - at the very least, once the Meizu flops, they *might* be able to turn all that R&D savvy into a some genuine derivative products, or turn it into developing for the iPhone, and some related products.

    Being Chinese, though, they will do neither.

  1. bigmig

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not quite

    zinkdifferent - actually, IIRC the Meizu runs WinCE. No doubt it will blow chunks.

    Good point about the pricing though. Middle class and below cannot afford it, and upper class will not want to be seen carrying around a chintzy knock off. But undoubtedly they'll still sell a few because the market is so huge.

  1. ebernet

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Never ceases to amaze me.

    Now they can buy a pirate phone to put on it the bootleg movies and music, and place a book reader on it for the pirate harry potter book clones where he meets the dragon....

    I will never cease to be amazed at how blatantly China rips off intellectual copyrights of other people/countries and does not give a load of ____. So sad...

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