Fake Apple Stores Have Returned To China, Try To Quench Thirst For iPhone 6S

Like humans worldwide, people in China love iPhones and have an irrational need to own the newest model on the day that it’s released to the public. One unique thing that has popped up in China, though, is fake Apple Store that sell real Apple products. They proliferated four years ago, and are back, significantly outnumbering stores run by Apple.

The fake Apple Stores sell genuine products, though you can also pick up a counterfeit iPhone 6S for under $100 on the streets of commercial zone Shenzen if that’s what you’re into. Reuters counted 30 of the unauthorized stores in the city. For some perspective, there’s only one official Apple-run store there, and five authorized third-party dealers of the company’s products.

There are probably more of the stores now, one day ahead of the new model’s launch, since they don’t need to wait around for things like “authorization.” What differentiates a fake Apple Store from a real one isn’t just the presence of Apple products sourced from the gray market: they outfit their employees in t-shirts and lanyards and do their best to make the store look like the real thing. Reuters even reports that there are Apple Store stores in Shenzen, where you can buy the t-shirts, lanyards, and other items needed to create an authentic experience.

China’s ‘fake’ Apple stores thrive ahead of new iPhone launch [Reuters]