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October 20th, 1999

[8:00 AM] New Asian US$160 iMac Knockoff May Get Past Apple Legal, Seriously
by Himitsu

Just when you thought Apple squashed all iMac wannabes along comes a new challenge. Is it from eOne? No the challenge comes from Hong Kong's Konka Co. Priced at 17500 yen (Around $160 US) this slick white and green box screams 'iMac" all over it. The front sports two stereo speakers. And you'll find a handy handle on top. The screen size is 14". It also has AV input/outputs. PAL and NTSC options too. Future models will feature a DVD drive and multiple colors.

But wait. How can it be ONLY $160?? Is it bundled with a 100 year Internet service contract? Actually, its not a computer! But first glance at this product would make you think so!! All over Japan, from dishes to CD boxes the iMac has inspired new industrial designs. You can now outfit your whole computer room in the same color as your iMac. But your TV too? Chinese computer maker Konka, hopes so. The number two maker of PC in China is ready to launch a new line of TVs that looks like the iMac.

The million dollar question is, what Apple will do in this situation. Its an obvious copy of their industrial design. But unlike the eOne, this is an entirely different product category. If Apple brings Konka to court, are other iMac inspired product makers in trouble? Only time will tell.

Ziff-Davis In Japan has coverage of this product that includes many pictures. We highly encourage you to check out their coverage to see the product.

Apple was unavailable for comment as of press time.

The Mac Observer Spin: You have to see this thing. This is one of the finest looking TVs ever made. With this product not being a computer at all, it is questionable whether Apple could sue on the grounds that the product could cause confusion in the market place. That's the tactic they have opted for so far in the battle against computer companies looking to rip off the iMac's distinctive look. While it is clearly a design that was utterly inspired by the iMac, it actually has a different overall shape. In our non-legal opinion, from a strictly appearance standpoint, Apple would have grounds to say that their design had been copied.

One thing is for certain, several Mac Observer staff members have said that they would like one.

Himitsu covers Mac events in Japan for The Mac Observer.

Konka - Apple

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