18

Is it that time already? Knock-off Apple Watches hit the Chinese market less than 24 hours after launch - and you can pick one up for just £25

It has barely taken any time at all for Chinese counterfeiters to rip-off Apple's latest creation. 

 

Fake versions of the Apple Watch can be bought for as little as £25 - despite the fact the real thing will set you back more than 10 times that.

The flagship new product was only launched in San Francisco yesterday but knock-offs are already available in China.

According to CNN Money, they can be found at Huaqiangbei electronics market in the southern city of Shenzhen, and others are being sold nationwide via popular e-commerce websites.

Right down to the digital crown, the fakes mimic the design and style of Apple's new offering.

They cost between 500 yuan (£50) and 250 yuan and have names like D-Watch and Ai Watch.

They even have icons which look like Apple ones on the home screen, though most run a version of the Android operating system made to look like an Apple interface.

They are certainly a lot cheaper than the real thing, which will set you back at least $349 in the US and £299 for the same Sport model in the UK.

hinese 'shanzhai', or counterfeiters, have even got their version onto the streets before the Apple Watch itself, as customers of the Cupertino company will have to wait until April 24 to get hold of an actual one.  

Laurent Le Pen, founder and CEO of Shenzen-based smartwatch maker Omate, told CNN: 'These guys are specialists. 

'The speed at which they can bring copies on the market is amazing.' 

'Sometimes need to be an expert to tell the difference between real and fake.' 

Sceptical social media users have taken the opportunity to mock the launch of Apple's new Watch with a selection of memes.

Following yesterday's announcement of the device's details by the company, a collection of photos depicting homemade Apple Watches slowly started to appear.

Some people attached iPhones to their wrists with elastic bands, another simply stuck a piece of fruit to their hand and a third made their own version with a regular watch and an Apple sticker. 

Since its unveiling in September the Watch has been shrouded in mystery, with Apple's boss Tim Cook teasing features at every available opportunity. 

However the features were fully released during a launch event in San Francisco on Monday.

Since its unveiling in September the Watch has been shrouded in mystery, with Apple's boss Tim Cook teasing features at every available opportunity. 

However the features were fully released during a launch event in San Francisco on Monday.

The CEO added that with typical use the battery life is likely to be 18 hours. What 'typical' use entails remains unknown.

Prices for the Sport model start at $349 in the US and £299 in the UK, while the stainless steel Watch starts at $549 (£479) and the Edition costs from a staggering $10,000 (£8,000). The most expensive model in the US will cost $17,000 (£11,200).

Mr Cook said at the event at Yerba Buena Centre in California: 'This is the most personal device we have ever created. It's not just with you, it's on you.'

Apple initially announced its Watch in September at its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch event in California.

It comes in three models: the Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition, and all models are sold in either 1.4-inch (38mm) or 1.7-inch (42mm) versions.