iPhone clones attack!

Touch-based interfaces infect mobile device makers with 'iPhone-itis'

Top iPhone knock-offs

If imitation is flattery, then CTIA is an ode to the iPhone. Love or hate it, the iPhone has set the bar by making a truly smart smartphone.  The touch navigation is the biggest leap forward, making the conventional keyboard a relic. The iPhone's icon display is now, well, iconic.  Nearly every new mobile device has followed Apple's design lead, but most are just posers.

Check out our collection of iPhone-inspired devices.  We'll start out with the latest announcements and finish it out with a few imitators still making the rounds.  Let us know if any of these iPhone clones are better than the real thing.

Blackberry Bold

As expected, Research in Motion today unveiled the BlackBerry Bold, also known as BlackBerry 9000, a tri-band HSDPA 3G smartphone with integrated Wi-Fi and GPS and a 624-MHz CPU with 128MB flash memory and 1GB of onboard storage memory. Read more .

HTC's Intuitive (aka Verizon XV6900)

If you think this device from Verizon Wireless looks familiar, that's because it's a HTC-sourced smartphone.  The device features Windows Mobile 6 Professional suite, and includes a 2 megapixel camera, microSD slot, 256MB of ROM, 128MB of RAM, Bluetooth, and HTC's TouchFLO interface. Like the others, it's slated for April availability and will run $349.99 on contract after $50 rebate.

More info here

The Instinct

Sprint Nextel showed off a new iPhone look-alike from Samsung on Tuesday at the CTIA conference in Las Vegas that the operator says allows much faster data access then the Apple phone.

The Instinct, co-developed by Sprint and Samsung, looks similar to the iPhone, including a touch screen. Unlike the iPhone, however, it includes GPS and runs on Sprint's high-speed EV-DO Revision A network. Sprint's network offers an average data download rate as high as 1.4 Mbps. By contrast, EDGE, which the iPhone operates on via AT&T's network, usually offers less than 200 Kbps throughput. Read more .

Sony Ericsson's XPERIA X1 with Windows Mobile

With Microsoft making a splash at CTIA with its demo of Windows Mobile 6.1, Sony Ericsson's XPERIA X1 received more buzz as it was one of the first phones with this OS. The XPERIA X1 still falls into the same old QWERTY trap, but with Windows Mobile 6.1 does offer something that the iPhone doesn't (yet) -- i.e. Adobe Flash. Read the full story .

More info here

LG Glimmer

At CTIA 2008, the LG Glimmer was on display at the CTIA e-Tech Awards pavilion.

LG describes the device as "a fun mix between the Motorola RAZR2, the Motorola ROKR, and the Voyager." Or maybe the iPhone?

More info here

LG Vu

The LG Vu is basically a U.S. version of LG's much-hyped Prada phone. The Vu sports essentially the same finger-touch UI as the Prada phone, but includes MediaFLO mobile TV.

More info here

LG Voyager

CTIA was buzzing with rumors of a second-generation version of the LG Voyager.  The Voyager is clearly a knockoff with its touchscreen, but fumbles with its chunky keyboard when compared to the iPhone.  Maybe a Voyager 2 will learn a few lessons and be a tad sleeker.

LG Venus

LG bills the Venus as a "music phone with touch navigation." Isn't that an iPhone?  LG also calls the Venus its "brightest star yet in the LG handset lineup."  With its less-than-stellar features, we're not so sure that is something to boast about.

The Venus is just as clunky as its sister the Voyager in that it has a conventional keyboard -- which is so last year in the mobile world. What's the point of touch navigation if you eventually have to resort to using an old-style keyboard?

More info here

LG Shine

The LG Shine looks like what would happen if a Motorola RAZR and an iPhone had a love child.   LG still can't seem to let go of a keyboard, and hides it under the faux-full screen.

More info here

HTC Touch Dual

At CTIA HTC showed it's 'iPhone-itis' by announcing the American version of the HTC Touch Dual.  It looks nifty, has the promise of Windows Mobile, but yet again the conventional keyboard weighs down what may have been an iPhone-killer contender.

More info here

Deeda Pi

Deeda is an iPhone imitator supreme.  Deeda invites you to join a "revolution" already begun by Apple. The company claims their products are "the original Open Platform proximity-touch devices that give you the freedom to create new applications, install third-party programs, and customize our GUIs as much as you want."

The flagship of these products is the Pi, which includes a camera on the front and the back; supports 3G wireless, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi; and has a 3.6-inch screen. Deeda also boasts that its batteries, unlike the iPhone's, are replaceable.  Not sure if that's a turning point.

More info here

Desay N8 PDA Phone

Wow, Desay really isn't trying to hide the fact that they are stealing from the iPhone design.  They don't even bother to change the wallpaper, and the on button is a complete rip off.  But don't go touching the screen, you'll have to use the stylus to navigate.

More info here

Meizu M8 Mini One

Meizu has had its iPhone knockoff out for a while (shown right), but it has a new black version available. Its latest iPhony is cheaper and looks a lot like the iPod Touch. The screen is 3.4 inches and costs anywhere from $265 to $400, depending on what storage size you buy. Meizu gives you the iPhone look with none of the iPhone features. At $400, I think I'll go with the original.

More info here

CECT P168

This knock-off has a 3.5-inch touch screen, a 1.3-megapixel camera and claims to have "3D surround sound." While the Apple OS appears to be copied as well, the signature Windows powering-down tune is heard. It is a true knock-off in that it's all surface, and in the back-end missing is the key iPhone features like visual voicemail, and Web apps.


See the CECT P168 in action

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Let us know what you thought of the latest round of iPhone imitators, plus if you know of something we missed.  Or weigh in on the impact the iPhone has had on the mobile and wireless industry.