Apple accused of copying iPad design

The president of Chinese hardware manufacturer, Shenzhen Great Loong Brother Industrial, told reporters that the iPad was a copy of their own tablet PC.

Chinese hardware manufacturer, Shenzhen Great Loong Brother Industrial, is exploring a possible lawsuit against Apple over allegations the iPad design was a copy of its own tablet PC.

In a news report by Spanish daily El Mundo, the Chinese company's president, Wu Xiaolong, said in an interview that the iPad was similar to its P88, which was commercially launched in October last year.

Read: Special Report: It's an iPad

Wu said he was "angry and flabbergasted" after seeing the news about Apple's iPad.

"It is certainly our design. They've stolen [it] because we presented our P88 to everyone six months ago at the IFA (International Electronics Fair) [in Berlin]," he was quoted in a Shanghaiist article, which cited extensively from El Mundo's report.

Shenzhen Great Loong Brother Industrial is based in Shenzhen, China. The Chinese city is recognized as a location where the manufacture of "shanzhai" or "copycat" mobile phones and other electronic devices is proliferate, Bryan Wang, Springboard Research's Asia-Pacific research director for connectivity and country manager of China, told ZDNet Asia in a previous report.

But Wu, in a separate report by PCWorld, was quoted to say about the company's P88: "For this thing, we are not 'shanzhai' because we were first."

Shenzhen Great Loong Brother Industrial submitted a patent application for the P88 last May, according to Wu, who noted that the approval process can take about a year, making it difficult for the company to sue Apple in the United States. But, he added that "if the iPad enters the Chinese market, we will sue them this spring."

For more on this story, read Apple accused of copying iPad design on ZDNet Asia.