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.