Apple threatened by Chinese company over iPad
Published 02/02/2010 | 11:34
A Chinese company that makes a tablet-style computer is considering suing Apple after alleging that its iPad was a copy of its device.
The Shenzhen Great Loong Brother company alleges that the iPad design is based on its P88 tablet, right down to the casing and bezel around the screen. The company said that if Apple were to release the iPad tablet in China, it would seek an injunction against it.
"We won't have any choice but to report them," Xiaolong Wu, the company president, told the Spanish newspaper El Mundo. "It will certainly affect our sales."
China is famous for its counterfeit culture, with pirated copies of DVDs, CDs and video games available on the streets within days of officially going on sale in other countries.
There is also a strong trade in "shanzhai" products – consumer electronics goods such as phones, games consoles and computers, that are cheap imitations of official devices.
But Mr Wu said the P88 was not itself based on the design of another Apple product, the iPod touch, despite some obvious similarities. "They [Apple] have nothing to do with it," he said. "They [the P88 and iPod touch] have completely different functions."
Apple has refused to comment on the possible legal action, but industry experts say any legal action by the Chinese company is unlikely to succeed.
The two devices are wildly different, with the P88 using a resistive touch-screen rather than the multi-touch screen of the Apple iPad, and using a 250GB hard drive compared to the iPad, which uses flash memory.