updated 12:30 am EDT, Mon May 12, 2008
iPhone knockoff threatened
Apple is going after the sellers of at least one iPhone knockoff, delivering a cease & desist to a HiPhone reseller in Europe. Apple Europe's legal counsel Bird & Bird has contacted the seller who sold the HiPhone knockoff on eBay and through his online shop, asking him to destroy the HiPhones currently in his inventory as well as provide a wealth of information related to the manufacturing, distribution, sales, and marketing of the HiPhone. Apple's letter threatens penalties of 25,000€ per HiPhone sold, if the seller does not comply.
The Hi-Phone, which surfaced earlier this year on Dragon Kicks, is a virtually exact hardware duplicate of the iPhone and offers almost identitical user interface, including the same touch/gesture interface, similar icon styling and placement, auto-sensing and adjustment of landscape/portrait display, and more. The knockoff even mimics Apple's iPhone packaging.
The HiPhone knockoff, however, offers some additional features that are not available from Apple, including a removable battery, support for dual SIM cards, and a microSD slot for memory expansion. The HiPhone, which is available unlocked (and therefore can be used on any network), offers a 3.5-inch touchscreen, triband GSM support, a speakerphone, and other iPhone-like features. It is available for now $219 (previously was $239) with a $15 charge for delivery direct from China, according to the website.
In addition, Apple's letter is seeking legal fees of about 13,500€, due sometime in the month of May.
Another iPhone knockoff, Meizu's much-delayed M8 (or MiniOne) smartphone, was also due to hit shelves earlier this year.
HiPhone clone mimics Apple's iPhone