Fake Apple Stores Becoming Less Popular In China Again

At times, the thirst for new Apple products is so great in China that fake Apple Stores selling real Apple products pop up, with helpful uniformed employees ready to sell you any gray-market iThingy you might want. Now Reuters reports that some of those stores have switched over to selling local Chinese phone brands like Huawei.

It probably also helps that Apple has opened more legitimate stores in the country in general. The other problem, though, is that iPhones no longer have the cachet that they used to. Yes, we mean compared to four months ago.

That’s apparently how fickle device-buyers in China are. Right now, Reuters explains, there’s a patriotic trend in devices, with shoppers buying devices from local brands instead of foreign brands like Samsung and Apple. (The phones are all assembled in China, so any brand helps local employment in that way.)

“I think the iPhone has a higher brand value, but it’s hard to say its performance is better than Huawei,” one shopper explained to Reuters. If the phone’s “brand value” or coolness factor fades, then what will the premium foreign brands do to differentiate themselves? While the market in China is massive and fast-changing, that’s an important question for phone manufacturers all over the world.

China’s fickle fake stores cool on Apple: for now [Reuters]