In the summer of 2011, fake Apple stores began cropping up in cities all over China, selling knock-off MacBooks, iPhones, and iPads that appeared so genuine even some employees were fooled. In all, 25 fake Apple stores were shut down in a single province, Yunnan. The Apple brand is so pervasive and highly regarded that manufacturers have successfully flooded the market new “Apple” products like USB ports, websites, and even sneakers sporting the once-bitten apple logo. But the winner of Most Absurd Look-alike is undoubtedly the iStove, single burner gas stoves with the Apple logo and “iPhone” inscribed across the top.
According to the website LAist, the stoves, complete with appliance certification labels saying “Apple China Limited,” were sold throughout China until they recently, when nearly 700 were confiscated from a warehouse. Apple has struggled to establish their copyright in China, even going to court over allegations that it does not own the rights to the iPad in the country – preventing the firm from truly profiting off the enormous and fast-growing market. The reason for iStoves’ confiscation, for example, was not for ripping off the iPhone brand, but for being unsafe. (Apparently, the stoves were not equipped with protection to prevent flameout.)
Seriously? An iStove? As if Siri doesn’t do enough for us handling our personal and professional communications, managing daily schedules, providing reliable GPS, waking us up each morning, now she has to cook for us, too? It’s unclear what exactly iStove had to offer, but we’ve let our imaginations run wild with the possibilities: collecting and maintaining a database of favorite recipes, automatically sensing when heat should be turned from simmer to boil, providing nutritional or allergenic information …
What would you have an iStove cook for you?