GooPhone 5: Chinese ‘cloners’ make knock-off of iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 has not even been officially  announced yet.

But that hasn’t stopped the Chinese knock-off  shops coming up with their own cheap version of Apple’s premium  device.

For decades, an underground industry has been  creating clones of  popular mainstream devices, and the iPhone 5 is just the  longest in a  long line of products to get perhaps the sincerest form of  flattery.

Can't wait any more? Get the 'Iphone 5' early ... Well, the Goophone i5 to be exactCan’t wait any more? Get the ‘Iphone 5′ early … Well,  the Goophone i5 to be exact

Whether Apple will take as much notice of  this infringement as it did when Samsung used Apple’s patents without paying  royalties is unlikely.

But the clone iPhone certainly looks the  part, with the rounded corners, eponymous single button, and the lock-screen  that is so familiar to the world.

However, unlock the screen and you won’t find  Apple’s iOS operating system powering this device – instead, and this should  bring a tear to any Apple fan’s eye – it runs Android.

A couple of clues this is not an iPhone 5  come from the casing.

First of all this follows the design of the  iPhone 4S, with a 3.5inch screen, whereas multiple leaks from Apple suggest the  iPhone 5, which is expected to be announced on September 12, will have a 4inch  screen.

Also – in another affront to Apple – the  back-case appears to have Android’s ‘Honeycomb’ logo, implying the device runs  the previous version of Android’s operating system.

Speaking of Android... Samsung's flagship S3 smartphone also gets its own cloned versionSpeaking of Android… Samsung’s flagship S3 smartphone  also gets its own cloned version

The phone sports a five-megapixel camera and  is believed to have a resolution of 940 x 640 – not terrible by phone standards,  but no match to Apple’s high-definition Retina displays.

The phone has not been released yet, so there  are no reviews about how the device runs.

And surprising, some previous ‘knock-offs’  have been surprisingly good quality, meriting decent reviews from curious  Western technology sites who manage to pick up a model on eBay.

But with a multitude of different  manufacturers creating a variety of different clones of varying quality, the  best advice is that, if you really want an iPhone, get the genuine  article.

And if your budget does not stretch that far,  look for a reasonably-priced smartphone which comes with from an established  manufacturer and which comes with a full warranty.

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