Thursday, May 1, 2008

Copycat Wii Consoles Proliferate

Hong Kong is a good place to buy tech gadgets like the Nintendo Wii, Game Boy, Playstation, and the N-90 series cellphone. In a recent toys fair and convention, all sorts of tech gadgets that would make any techie drool were showcased and demonstrated to potential dealers. Some are so new you wouldn’t think the technology used already exists, but it does!

The sad part is that a majority of those products aren’t even made by Nintendo, Sony, or Nokia. They are in fact copycat products made by shady companies that do under-the-table deals with wholesale distributors all over Asia and elsewhere.

If you examine and test these products, you will see how they copy all the features of the original. What may look like and play like the Nintendo Wii console isn’t really a Wii. For all we know, it may be a Vii or a WeeWee that uses infrared technology that’s inferior to the original. Believe it or not, wholesale buyers can have their own brand name stamped on these bogus devices by request!

The use of alternative technologies to produce the same experience in tech products like the Wii makes these bogus products cheap. In fact, prices are so dirt cheap wholesale buyers can make a fortune supplying them to retailers who may or may not sell them as original products.

Many consumers couldn’t care less if what they’re buying is bogus or not as long as it gives them the same satisfaction and saves them money. These are the main reasons why copycat items are selling more than the original ones. But what’s worse is that even big car manufacturers like Shuanghuan Automobile have been accused by BMW and Daimler Chrysler of copying their designs in the Shuanghuan Noble car.

In the opinion of some technology writers, authorities appear to be helpless in stemming the manufacture and proliferation of bogus tech items, as the companies that produce them are typically fly-by-night, small, unregistered and do not maintain a single plant. They hire engineers on project-basis who transfer existing technologies, making them more affordable by using different materials and techniques. However, consumers can help stop this illegal practice by buying only original products.

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