Apple is set to debut the Apple Watch in stores tomorrow, but one company in China hopes to avert the company’s success by offering a cheaper alternative.
The founder of the unnamed firm, Zheng Yi, told AFP his product has all the same features the Apple Watch has, and it may even surpass it. The watches can make phone calls, watch movies and browse the internet. Zheng claims he has been working on this watch for eight years, significantly longer than Apple.
A potential opportunity for Apple rival
The Cupertino-based tech company already has a huge fan base in China, and many industry experts believe the smartwatch will be a hit. However, the price could be a huge problem. The Apple Watch starts out at 2,588 yuan, but cheaper alternatives retail for a fraction of that price.
Zheng added that the Apple Watch is beautiful, but that is where its rival’s strengths ends. His company is rapidly working to deliver its own product at a much cheaper price.
Apple Watch could face competition from others
A look at the company’s production line in Shenzhen shows workers in blue shirts assembling the devices before dropping them on a conveyor belt. A staff of about 100 employees typically produce 2,000 smartwatches a day. This rate of production helps Zheng’s firm sell over 50,000 units a month. Analysts estimate Apple has already received several million orders throughout the world.
Zheng is not the only one to create Apple Watch knockoffs. There are plenty of cheap knockoff versions complete with similar touch-screen displays and unique app icons sold throughout the country. The watches differ from Apple’s device in a big way as many contain SIM cards and function more like a phone than a watch. Apple’s smartwatch requires the iPhone for most of its functions.
Many of the watch makers in China are in the southern providence of Guangdong, the same area where many foreign firms including Apple already established huge factories.