Memo for the Beijing courts: 5 iPhone lookalikes from top-tier Chinese makers


According to Beijing’s intellectual property regulator, Apple has infringed on the design patents of a phone by an obscure Chinese company called Baili, and, pending Cupertino's appeal, the courts can essentially shut down all sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in the capital city. Baili has apparently filed a motion that the iPhone 6's shape and form resemble its low-end Android dubbed 100C, which you can see above. The regulators played along, and their opinion states that: "The Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have minor differences from Baili's 100C. The differences are so tiny that the average customer could not notice. So, this case falls into the patent rights protection category."

This is not some isolated incident, either. What might resemble an intellectual property crusade against Apple, actually seems to be state-sanctioned politics against internationals, as Chinese patents are often registered regardless if similar ones exist abroad. Apple, in prticular, is on a list of eight American companies that China dubs “guardian warriors,” or firms that have “seamlessly infiltrated China,” so the authorities are evidently taking measures against these malignant infiltrators.

It started in 2012, when Apple shelled out $60 million to Proview in order to regain the rights to the "iPad" trademark in China, while most recently Apple lost the "iPhone" naming to a purse and wallet maker there. The company was also ordered to bring down its iBooks and iTunes Movies services in the country, so it all piles up. 

In the case of the Baili 100C resembling an iPhone 6, however, Apple's lawyers have plenty of counterclaims to show the judge upon appeal. We are talking about the tens of shameless iPhone clones that have originated from, and keep being churned out by Chinese companies, including major ones. Yep, we are not even including blatant deliberate one-to-one copies, but rather phones that are outed by top-tier Chinese makers. Notice that Oppo just climbed to be the fourth-largest phone maker in the world last quarter? Well, Lenovo and ZTE are not that far behind, and they all have iPhone lookalikes in the Chinese market. Heck, Oppo even has two of those.


Here are the arrows in Apple's legal quiver that can be used against the Beijing regulators' ruling, though if this is a state-sanctioned move, there is a big possibility that the ban against iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in China could be enforced anyway.


Oppo F1 Plus


You may have noticed from the pics below that the new F1 Plus looks conspicuously like the Apple iPhone. True, the Chinese company has been making thin compact phone for a while, and recently made the move to metal ones, but not so long ago it dropped the extremely Apple-esque R9, and now this F1 that looks even more like an iPhone, available in gold and rose gold colors. The added value, though? A 16 MP front-facing camera for the perfect selfie.

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Lenovo Sisley


When it comes to iPhone imitations, we usually look with scorning stare to China, but it's typically small, third-tier, or offbeat manufacturers that are making them with the sole idea of making an iPhone imitation. Enter Lenovo, which last year was thw rold's 4th largest handset maker, and its Sisley midranger, issued right after the iPhone 6 made the stage.



ZTE Blade S6


ZTE didn't wait more than a few months after the iPhone 6 was announced to out these puppies. Well, as far as similarities go, these are farthest from the truth compared to the Oppo and Lenovo creations, so point one for ZTE.


Oppo R9


Rose gold and golden hues? Check. Slim aluminum housing with rounded corners and a 5.5" display? Check. Thin antenna strips on the back? Yep. The elliptical home key and the misplaced LED flash are some of the few telltale signs that the Oppo R9 is not striving to be a perfect iPhone clone, just a little bit.



Bonus: Blackview Ultra Plus


Granted, Blackview isn't in the top tier of Chinese phone makers, but the sheer audacity of this recent clone deserves an honorable mention. It mimics the iPhone 6 Plus design to the letter, and is available in Champagne Gold, Stardust Grey and... wait for it... Rose Gold.


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25 Comments

2. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

I wish everyone would stop copying the awful antenna bands, they weren't great when HTC did them but acceptable, Apple copied and made them uglier then everyone copied Apple's bad design. People don't buy iPhones because of the ugly antenna bands FFS China, do it better!

22. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Samsung has the coolest antenna bands on the S6/S7/Note4/Note5

6. Chuck007

Posts: 1410; Member since: Mar 02, 2014

It's not so much about the law but sheer protectionism. No chance they'd sue their own brands when they get a pretty cut. That's how real communism works. ;)

9. Loubielou

Posts: 603; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Apple should be in the Tennis market as they just love going to COURTS,Apple think they are superior to every one else,just because the Chinese people do not like getting ripped off by Apple,they are trying to blame everyone else because there struggling to be the leader in China.just wish the china employees Apple really use should walk out on Apple and make them struggle

10. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Like the Chinese courts give the remotest of airborne rodent rectums...

12. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

its amazingly easy to differentiate those from iPhone :-/ at this rate, smartTV, microwave, washing machine, toaster, and tons of other stuff is copycat from other brand, since most of it use similar design

13. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I skipped every phone that look similar to iPhone because iPhone is such a common boring phone with poor screen to body ratio.

17. Prof_Mith

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 20, 2016

Umm. The Oppo F1 Plus and the Oppo R9 are the exact same phone, just named differently based on region... Maybe take one out and add Meizu Pro 6 instead?

18. sukrith2194 unregistered

If Apple uses these at court they'll surely loose(I wish they do)... The court will say u r shamelessly copying phones from Chinese markets and cherry picking design from all these phones!

19. duartix

Posts: 311; Member since: Apr 01, 2014

I just came here for the comments. It's great already.

20. xfire99

Posts: 1205; Member since: Mar 14, 2012

hehe The bitch got bitched back! 2012 rectangular-shaped device - ;)

23. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Curious is PA is familiar with this company called GooPhone which has copied all of Apple phones for years and Samsung too. Yet apple has never sued them -http://www.goophoneshops.com/ In fact, people have taken the GooPhone out and shown people who are suppose to be diehard iPhone fans, and they could not tell the difference. Question. Apple sued Samsung with false claims of the Galaxy S looking "too similar" to the iPhone, and here this company makes an exact clone, even skinning Android to look liek iOS. I dont know how many they sell...probably lots. Why hasnt Apple sued them? The fact is, Apple sued Samsung because Samsung is a partner and Apple hates when partners compete against them. They did the same to Microsoft and they lost. They've lost to Samsung too. Now because Apple didn't unlock the phone of the terrorist, the US Gov't is no longer protecting apple against lawsuits. Every month a new company will be suing Apple. All that money they made will now get paid out to lawyers and patent trolls. I hope they all troll Apple until they go broke. All Apple has to do was just compete fairly on the open market. They saw Samsung was gettign to big to fast and actually used the court to try to slow them, but the reverse happened. They sued Samsung, gave Samsung free press and help them increase sales to the tune in 2011 of 430M phones sold. Thanks Apple! You helped the world see Samsung makes better phones than you and you drew attention to them. Now they are even better than ever!

26. Coconut00

Posts: 485; Member since: Jan 13, 2015

While all of these are true, the F1 Plus and R9 family have the exact same design so kind of unfair putting them separately

27. DONUT

Posts: 436; Member since: Jun 27, 2013

This article just screams SALTY lol

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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