Apple’s iconic white logo is being displayed by more than 30 stores located on a busy street in Shenzhen, China, which has just one official Apple Store and five authorized dealers in the area. These stores are taking preorders for the recently launched iPhone 6S, which has become a status symbol for Chinese users who are financially well-off.
Replica of Apple Stores
Many of these stores look exactly the same as Apple’s signature outlets. Even the sales staff members in some stores wear blue t-shirts bearing the white logo of the U.S. firm. Sleek wooden tables are used for displaying sample iPads and Apple Watches. The Apple products sold by these “fake” stores are all genuine though, and the number of such stores has gone up at a very fast pace ahead of the release of the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus on Friday, says a report from Reuters.
Apple faces supply constraints each time it redesigns the iPhone. On the launch date, the latest iteration of the iPhone will only be available to the Chinese customers who have reserved the device online. The device features s larger screen and longer battery life, and as per thr company’s information, preorder demand has outstripped supply.
The unauthorized Apple Stores in Shenzhen are hoping to make quick bucks from reselling devices for almost double the original price to users who do not want to wait for the new iPhones. The fake stores are also accepting preorders for the devices, but they are making it clear that they will be available from Friday onwards.
A clerk working at one of the unauthorized dealers which opened two weeks ago said, “There are many Apple fans in China. There are many silly people in China who are willing to pay extra money just to get a new iPhone ahead of everyone else.”
Fake stores good for Apple
The rate at which the number of copycat Apple Stores has increased in China indicates the popularity of the brand there. For the third quarter, Apple’s China revenue doubled to more than $13 billion from a year earlier. For Apple, China is the second biggest market, and it appears that the U.S. firm is on track to shrug off weakening consumer spending there.
In a way, the presence of fake Apple stores could work in the company’s favor, as they will help in promoting brand awareness in a country where there were just 22 Apple stores in the third quarter.