iPad3, only in Shanghai?
One of Gizmodo’s representatives visited Shanghai for a tech exhibition, and this is what he has to say.
Itâ€™s no great secret or news that you can get a knockoff version of just about anything in China with just a little bit of haggling involved. But I couldnâ€™t pass up the opportunity to visit one of Shanghaiâ€™s technology markets when I was there last week â€” and in doing so, come face to face with the â€œiPad 3â€³.
The market I ended up at â€” and thereâ€™s plenty of them â€” was beneath the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum. Its Wikipedia page suggests that it attracts two to three million visitors per year. Perhaps last Friday was an abberation; it seemed more of a 68,000 square meter ghost townâ€¦ except downstairs, where the market is. Those who like reality TV trivia might like to note that the Museum was a pit stop forÂ The Amazing RaceÂ a couple of years back. Iâ€™m guessing they didnâ€™t stop off for knockoff designer handbags, however.
Thereâ€™s an obvious challenge to shooting any footage in a technology market with plenty ofÂ no-doubt-honest-sir-genuine-handbags-and-gadgets, and thatâ€™s to do with it being not quite the most legitimate of places. So I wandered around taking mental notes, from the fact that you can buy anything with an Angry Birds logo on it â€” right down to your jocks â€” and that the counterfeit object of the minute would appear to either be language software or Beats Audio headphones.
Also rather surprising in a world awash with torrents; Movie piracy is still a thing. Take your pick ofÂ Tintin,Hunger GamesÂ orÂ The AvengersÂ for only 10RMB each! Guaranteed 3D Blu-Ray with additional extras! Also listed as DVD-9 on the back! Yeah, Iâ€™mÂ sureÂ those are genuine. But I was a little surprised to see them at all, given the ease of Internet based downloading. Perhaps thatâ€™s why the prices were so low.
And then I spotted the most over-hyped, over-rumoured product of 2012; the iPad 3. Not a third generation â€œNewâ€ â€œResolutionaryâ€Â iPad, mind you, but a product that proudly proclaimed itself as an iPad 3. That I had to get a quick-but-poor snap of, and managed to do so.
OK, itâ€™s only the back of it. There were a number of rather heavy set blokes wandering around keeping an eye on the tourists â€” and offering to sell us watches every two metres or so â€” so I wasnâ€™t feeling that brave.
Anyway, wandering around with a couple of other journalists, we chanced upon a store â€” and theyâ€™re all mixed offering stores, which is why I can say Iâ€™ve been in a handbag, AutoCAD and wig store, for example â€” that also had an iPad 3 on proud display.
The only thing there was that it was entirely bereft of staff. So seizing the chance, I seized the iPad 3 for some more photos and an experimental flick of the power switch. I mean, itâ€™s not like itâ€™s actually going to switch on, right?
Except it did. Naturally enough, it was an Android tablet; an Android 2.2 tablet to be specific. Getting to the device specifications revealed it to be a member of the Wondermedia WM8650 family; thereâ€™s no shortage of reviews of those online, but to save you the research time â€” theyâ€™re rubbish. Really appalling stuff, and my quick hands-on didnâ€™t disabuse me of that notion.
Although if for some insane reason you still might have thought it was legitimate, there were subtle cluesâ€¦ like the presence of Android on the backâ€¦
Or the MicroSD card slot. Thatâ€™d be a great addition to the next iPad if anyone at Apple is listening, but Iâ€™m not holding my breath.
The only remaining thing to do was to find out how much the â€œiPad 3â€³ was worth. Itâ€™s not like thereâ€™s a sticker price onÂ anythingÂ in a market like this; everything is a matter of negotiating downwards for products that are mostly terrible anyway. Yeah, thatâ€™s a value judgement, because the value proposition here isnâ€™t great. Anyway, negotiated prices for an iPad 3 ranged from 600RMB â€” thatâ€™s around $95 â€” all the way up to 4800RMB, or a hefty $758. Checking along the way also revealed what precisely made this the â€œiPad 3â€³; itâ€™s a size thing. The 9.7 inch model is the iPad 3, the 7 inch model is the iPad 2 and the 5 inch model is the iPad. Itâ€™s also feasible â€” if you were very foolish â€” to pay 4800RMB for a 5 inch â€œiPadâ€. I wouldnâ€™t.
Naturally, no money leapt out of my wallet for an â€œiPadâ€.