King of the iPhone clones

It's time for Macworld 2011 here in San Francisco. The MacGeeks descend in droves to show how real their love is.
Written by Violet Blue, Contributor

It's time for Macworld 2011 here in San Francisco. The MacGeeks descend in droves to show how real their love is. Be it scary or exciting, there is nothing fake about this crowd.

But a different kind of fake is causing a stir: The SoPhone is being touted as the best iPhone knockoff ever created - and sold, for the low low price of around $209.

That's 1380 Chinese yuan - yes, this beauty is indeed Made In China. There is even a white version.

At first glance, the SoPhone looks exactly like the iPhone 4.

That's because in this instance, imitation is literally intended to be the sincerest form of flattery. The SoPhone company says that the device is a tribute to Steve Jobs.

This new video landed SoPhone the title of King Clone:

Attack of the Clones

Online Chinese tech news media are of the opinion that the video led to last week's crackdown on China's huge "shanzhai," or counterfeit, cell phone industry. However, Liu Sheng owner of the country's biggest shanzhai phone news website told Shanghai Daily,

"(…) the crackdown might not have much impact on the industry as most shanzhai vendors have already gone underground, selling the products secretly online."

And as everyone knows, a good secret comes with a 7-day warranty.

SoPhone measures in at 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm, which is - amazingly - exactly the same size as Apple’s iPhone 4. Drop your SoPhone on the ground on your way to Macworld 2011? No problem if you bought a bumper case - all iPhone 4 accessories fit the fake like a glove.

From "SoPhone What is it" (translated):

She represents the development of China's mobile phone industry has a new milestone!

She had miraculously appeared, the transformation of miraculous!

She touches the hearts of millions of fans!

She is not a phone, not a brand!

She is the eyes of every Chinese dream!

To this dream, we proudly, courage!

To survive, we imitate!

Those of you waiting for your SoPad will just have to wait. Unless you can hold your nose with one hand and use the Windows 7 powered King Of The iPad Knockoffs with the other hand.

SoPhone has endeavored to duplicate - I mean, pay homage to - the iPhone 4 by delivering a UI that attempts to function like the real thing.

The SoPhone has zero retina display or micro SD slot, yet it has features like a freshly augmented Playmate. Powered by a MTK6235 chipset, SoPhone comes equipped with a 3.5-inch touch-screen, 4GB of flash storage, front and rear cameras, wi-fi and Bluetooth.

And just like the iPhone, it has a removable 1400ma battery - in fact, it comes with two! Wait - what? Okay, maybe it's not that exact an imitation. Apparently the SoPhone has a bit more.

How exactly the SoPhone plays into the US-China iPhone trade gap remains to be seen.

[Image via M.I.C. Gadget]

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