Dirty Tricks and Copy Cats

Can You Copy Technology?

Well it’s true that if someone copies what you’re doing they clearly think it’s cool. That’s all very well and good but the problem is, when people are creating new technical gadgets, they don’t want their ideas being ripped off. And it seems that that is exactly what is happening. In addition, it just doesn’t look good and most people usually want the original anyway even if the copy is cheaper. For example, when it comes to Apple products, very few people want what is bound to be a second rate imitation of the original; they want the real deal.

So what do you need to avoid when trying to get the best technology? What should you be looking out for? And, perhaps more importantly, is there ever a case when a rip-off is actually a good deal? There were some dirty tricks played by some mobile phone companies following the debut of the flip phone in 2004 by Motorola RAZR which wasn’t really very fair as those particular companies had status within the mobile phone industry that earned them brownie points amongst potential customers.

Apple’s Position?

It’s not news that Apple has had a lot of copies on the market, perhaps the most recent one being the ViewSonic Android Tablet, off of its iPad. But the question that needs to be asked is, is Apple always Little Miss Innocent vis-à-vis original designs? Perhaps not. P88 manufacturer Shenzen Great Loong Brother Company is complaining that iPad is a spin-off of that. If you look at the P88 though it actually appears more like a big iPhone than an iPad. Manufactured in China, the company’s president Xiaolong Wu said quite blatantly, that if the iPad is marketed there, “we won’t have any choice but to report them [since] it will certainly affect our sales.”

The bottom line is it’s often a bit of a chicken and egg situation in the sense that it’s not so easy to tell which came first. People interested in technology and gadgets are often looking for two things: a great gadget and pretty top notch marketing and brand name to sell the product. Copy cat or dirty tricks aren’t so important to the average Joe in the street looking for a new game or higher performing gadget.

About James Cannon

James Cannon is an experienced hedge fund analyst. He has served on the advisory boards for various different Fortune 500 companies as well as serving as an adjunct professor of finance. James Cannon has written for a variety of Financial Magazines both on and off line. Contact James at james[at]businessdistrict.com