With all of the going-ons in the mobile smartphone space in the last few weeks, the GooPhone I5 handset may have managed to slip through the shutters without any of us knowing a great deal about it. For those who may not know, the GooPhone I5 isn’t a sticky, congealed mess as the name suggests, but is instead a blatant copy of the new iPhone’s design that is being sold in the Chinese market. Fair play to the makers who have actually managed to build a functional device based on Apple’s leaked designs and got it on sale before the fruit company themselves, but the rest of the story is borderline laughable.
It isn’t unusual to see handsets flooding the Chinese market that are essentially clones of other popular smartphones. We have seen Chinese clones of many Apple devices – specifically the iPhone – in the past, as well as devices from the likes of Samsung, HTC and Nokia. What makes the GooPhone I5 different is that this is the first time (as far as I can remember) a clone device has actually managed to hit the market before the original product from which drew its inspiration from. It houses the aesthetics of the new iPhone based on leaked components and design, but don’t be fooled by its outer shell, as the specifications of the device don’t even come close to that of the new iPhone.
The GooPhone I5 runs on top of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, so it isn’t the perfect marriage of hardware and software which we are used to seeing on Apple devices. The manufacturers behind the GooPhone I5 are actually putting forward the claim that they have already managed to successfully patent the design of the device in China and are suggesting that the holding of that patent will allow them to block Apple from selling the new iPhone in China when it is ultimately released.
Whether this is true or not, it is entirely up for debate, but if it is, you have to hand it to the company for even attempting to hold a patent on a design that is so blatantly copied down to the last external detail. We’ve seen Apple suffer in the past within the Chinese market and found themselves having to shell out a cool $60 million to settle a case surrounding the iPad trademark. Still, with the announcement of the new iPhone set for eight days time, I very much doubt Tim Cook and his cohorts are losing any sleep over this one.