Shanzhai (山寨) is a Chinese term that is used to described clone reproductions of popular cell phones. It's a huge business in China, with hundreds of millions of fake phones produced every year for the enormous Chinese market. Last year, one of the big shanzhai players came out with what was termed a "preemptive clone" of the iPad, before the device had even been announced. Now, that manufacturer is threatening to "report" or even sue Apple... for copying their design.
Shanzai.com featured this device back in October. Called the P88, it's based on an Intel 945GSE chipset - likely running an Atom CPU - and features a large, 10.2 inch capacitive touchscreen (as compared to the iPad's 9.7 inch screen). Xiaolong Wu, the president of Shenzhen Great Loong Brother Industries Company, the company that makes the P88, told the Spanish newspaper El Mundo that he "won’t have any choice but to report" Apple when they sell the iPad in China. "It will certainly affect our sales,” he says. The product has been on the market for six months and so, according to Mr. Wu, Apple is guilty of "stealing" his company's intellectual property.
I was very angry and flabbergasted when I saw the news of the iPad presentation two days ago... It is certainly our design. They've stolen because we present our P88 to everyone six months ago at the IFA (International Electronics Fair in Berlin).
Looking at the specs side by side, it seems pretty clear that the P88 is a fairly standard netbook, albeit one with a touchscreen.
P88: Intel Atom 1.6GHz
iPad: 1GHz Apple A4 custom-designed chip
P88: 10.2 inches
iPad: 9.7 inches
P88: 160GB mechanical hard drive
iPad: Up to 64GB flash
iPad: 0.73kg (3G model)
P88: 3 USB ports, 1 VGA, 1 RJ-45, card reader, earphone, mic
iPad: dock connector, with adapters
P88: 1.5 hours
iPad: 10 hours (claimed)
P88: reports range from $440 - $525 US
iPad: $499 - $829 US
Shenzhen Great Loong Brother Industries Company may not be alone in its (perhaps quixotic) battle against Apple, though: the Japanese electronics giant Fujitsu, which built a handheld computing device called the iPad back in 2002, claims it has the right to the name iPad. “It’s our understanding that the name is ours,” said Masahiro Yamane, the director of public relations at Fujitsu. He added that his company was consulting lawyers on what to do about it.
According to Wikipedia, the word shanzhai has a colorful derivation:
Historically, "shanzhai" is sometimes used as a metaphor to describe bandits who oppose and evade the corrupted authority to perform deeds they see as justified.