Last year an expat blogger in China put the international news spotlight on fake Apple Stores in China. The unofficial retail outlets that were uncovered were so close to the original that many of the employees there thought they were working for the Apple.
Apple remains the most aspirational mobile brand in China but Android has eaten up the world’s largest smartphone market, with the Google-owned OS said to account for more than half of all smartphones in China. This massive reach is likely the chief reason why Android is now being given the fake store treatment in the country.
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China-based blogger Brian Glucroft discovered a rather distinctive looking ‘Android Store’ in the town of Nanping, Guangdong province.
The photos show the Android Robot adorning the shop and its branding and, personally speaking, it looks pretty cool (Google: take note for future plans).
It is likely that Google will look to close down the store, but there’s a more immediate (and embarrassing) issue with it, as Glucroft notes:
I doubt Google would be thrilled with all of the choices made by this Android store owner. For example, in addition to a variety of Android-based mobile phones the store also sold Apple products such as iPhones, iPads, and computers.
That’s right! To the horror of Android fanboys, and the delight of the iPhoneratti, this Android Store is heavily pushing Apple. It is advertising the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S with boards outside, and Apple logos and ‘iPhone branding’ dominating the shelves and signage inside.
It’s often said that Android isn’t as glamorous as its great rival and an Android Store prioritizing iOS devices rams that point home pretty emphatically.
Apple has one registered retailer in Zhuhai but, as Glucroft notes, this is most definitely not it…he checked either way, just to be sure.
Microsoft introduced its Windows Phone 7 platform in China today, so what are the odds on fake Windows Phone Store pitching up? Quite long actually, given that the OS reportedly accounts for less than 3 percent of China’s smartphone market. Microsoft would love to have Google’s problem in China, no doubt.