Knockoff BlackBerrys in China Including BlockBerry and BlueBerry

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With BlackBerry set to touch down in China, ChinaDaily.com have put together an editorial about black market BlackBerrys and in particular, the famous knockoff devices like the BlockBerry and BlueBerry.

According to the article, many Chinese buyers purchase smuggled and fake BlackBerrys because they’re cheaper yet still carry the brand prestige. The BlackBerry and smartphone market is quickly becoming like the rest of the luxury goods market: swamped with fakes.

While the knockoffs are generally poorer quality, some come with some features that would be really cool to see in authentic BlackBerrys. Common features in knockoff BlackBerrys in China include dual SIM card slots for two phone numbers, two cameras (I don’t really get this one) and TV antennas. Imitation devices go for around 800 yuan ($117) while the real thing sells for around $500.

The obvious downsides to buying an imitation BlackBerry include: no push email, support, software updates, native features such as BBM etc. The knockoff is simply a feature phone made to look like a BlackBerry.

Obviously RIM could not be reached for comment for the article as they’re about to move into the market and it’s a sensitive time to talk about IP theft.

5 Responses to “Knockoff BlackBerrys in China Including BlockBerry and BlueBerry”


  1. 1 jzachlee

    Two cameras on the phone usually means that there is one at the back and one on the front. The front is for video calls or when taking self-portraits. I believe some Nokias (N81 8GB for example) had two cameras too.

    What I don’t get is why buy a knock off blackberry without all the services?? I might as well get a cool looking knock off phone instead. I mean, we get a blackberry because it is “a blackberry”! No BBM, no push mail? Might as well get a Sony Ericsson…

  2. 2 Kyle McInnes

    @jzachlee - Yeah I agree. But Sony Ericsson doesn’t carry the brand value. All they care about is that their friends see them holding something that looks like a BlackBerry. My prediction: a new industry will soon surface for those who specialize in telling the difference between real and fake smartphones. This industry already exists for purses, clothes, etc. Maybe we’ll see fake push email?

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