Remember that amazingly convincing fake Apple store discovered in Kunming, China, last year that captured the attention of tech aficionados the world over? Now its got company from a knock-off version of Apple’s leading competitor in the smartphone wars: Google’s Android.
Software user experience researcher and blogger Brian Glucroft, an English speaker who’s lived in China the past 5 years, recently stumbled across an “Android” branded store in the city of Zhuhai, China, located on the country’s southwest coast, when he took a “random bus.”
The store is decked out in signature Android green hues and even contains the Android robot logo and the English word “Android” splashed across the sign out front. However, Chinese characters below the sign translate to “Celebrities Smartphone Experience Store.”
As Glucroft quips in his post about the store, “In short, if you want to be like a celebrity (or you are celebrity) this is presumably the place for you.”
Glucroft discovered that the store appeals to be selling legitimate versions of Android 2.2 and 2.3 devices from major manufacturers HTC, Lenovo and ZTE.
But bizarrely, it also offers numerous other non-Android devices, including Apple iPhones, iPads and computers.
A business card he obtained from an employee even included the Android and Apple logos side-by-side.
As such, Glucroft told TPM via email that he didn’t believe that the employees at the store were convinced they were working in an official capacity for Google, which was reportedly the case in the amazing fake Apple store in Kunming.
In an email to TPM, Glucroft related his feelings upon discovering the store:
“I had never seen a mobile phone store that was so much in the Android spirit and had a sign so prominently suggesting it was an ‘Android Store.’ I think I was more excited than surprised, though. Android is becoming more prominent in China and is associated with many advanced phones so I figured it was only a matter of time before I stumbled upon a store like this.”
Indeed, Android, which currently leads the world in smartphone OS market share, according to market research firm Gartner, is taking off like a rocket in China, surpassing the U.S. to become the leader in total smartphone activations (iOS and Android combined), according to a new report from mobile analyst firm Flurry.
“As far as I know, Google has not opened any official stores in China, so this could also be another opportunity for a foreign company to be inspired by local design (in this case “store design”) in China,” Glucroft wrote on his blog, Isidor’s Fugue.