While browsing Apple’s App Store this weekend, you may have been surprised to see an iconic game sitting among the most popular iPhone apps. When a Pokemon Yellow app appeared in the App Store for $0.99, many unsuspecting users quickly jumped at the chance to finally have the highly-additive Nintendo RPG on their mobile devices. Those people would end up disappointed because the app was plagued by crashes, making it completely unplayable. What’s more, it was an unauthorized copy created by “House of Anime,” and Nintendo had nothing to do with it. The game peaked at No.3 on the App Store charts and garnered a one-and-a-half star rating with 1,352 negative reviews before it was finally pulled by Apple, Ars Technica reported. Though thousands of people ended up getting ripped off by this obvious fake that Apple let into its App Store, there is one positive takeaway from the ordeal: if Nintendo ever does decide to stray from its current stance and build iOS apps, the company will undoubtedly have some blockbusters on its hands. More →
Authorities with China’s Administration for Industry and Commerce have uncovered 22 additional fake Apple Store outlets in Kunming, the largest city in the Yunnan Province, Reuters reported on Thursday. Kunming is where a blog named BirdAbroad first revealed the existence of unofficial Apple Stores that posed as the real deal. In late July Chinese officials closed down two of the stores for lacking business licenses, but allowed others to remain open because they have licenses to trade and sell genuine Apple products. Now, the stores are being forced to remove Apple’s official logo after Apple China accused them of violating its trademark. The Administration for Industry and Commerce will setup a hotline in an effort to catch more illegal stores. More →
Chinese trade officials have raided and shut down two of five fake Apple Stores in Kunming, BBC News reported on Monday. The two stores weren’t closed for impersonating an Apple Store, instead both were shuttered for lacking business licenses. Travel blog BirdAbroad brought attention to the fake stores last week when it detailed one convincing shop in Kunming that sold real Apple products. That shop has not been closed because it “has a license to trade and is selling genuine Apple products,” BBC News said. Several of the store’s employees believe that they work for a real Apple Store. The Cupertino-based company has yet to respond to the growing number of illegitimate outlets. More →
A tech enthusiast site called TechHog recently leaked an image of what it says is the upcoming third Nexus-branded smartphone from Google. Though the site’s post has since been pulled, the photo shows a phone with a buttonless design built by HTC and a form factor that slightly resembles that of the iPhone 3GS. If Google wants to ditch the Android menu keys on its next Nexus device — which would presumably run Ice Cream Sandwich, likely eliminating the need for the typical Android menu keys — we’re all for it, but we’re not so sure this particular image is even real. Hit the jump for a zoomed-in portion of the photo that shows a jagged border typically seen when a Photoshopper isn’t careful enough with the clone stamp tool — just one of several problems that leads us to believe the image is not authentic. More →
I obviously wanted to be 100% sure about this before I posted a follow up post, but before I go into the details, I’d like you all to know about how we operate over here…
Yes, BGR runs rumors and information that is not always completely confirmed. That is part of the game we are in. What we and other quality sites do is research, confirm, and make our best editorial judgements before running information that is not yet confirmed. Over the past 5 years, I’ve had more exclusives in the mobile field than anyone or any site on the entire planet, and my accuracy rate has been ridiculously high. I’d guess above 95%.
It’s a knack, a gut feeling, a judgment call that you sometimes make when you are sharing valuable information that no one has ever reported on before. There have been countless, and I do mean countless things other fine writers at BGR and I have walked away from entirely. Not ridiculous tips like “the iPhone 7 has been released on Sprint and you can only buy it at Best Buy”, but rather high quality photos, or videos — things very hard to fake. And we walk away.
One recent example in memory actually is the Xbox Kinect. We had that exclusive story sent to us as an anonymous tip a day or two before Engadget published it, revealing it to the world. Someone sent to us a photo of the then unheard of motion-controlled Xbox accessory, and lightly detailed it for us. They worked at an ad agency and were filming this promo piece, so they snapped a quick photo and shot it over to us. We couldn’t independently confirm something so amazingly cool like a brand new way to experience and play video games, so we passed on running the story. Since we were the tipster’s favorite site, he sent it to us first, but still wanting to share the information, he sent it to Engadget who then ran the story. We’re not saying Engadget did a poor job from an editorial viewpoint because they might have confirmed the story with a source at Microsoft, but we specifically couldn’t, so we passed. That is just one example of hundreds on how journalists and reporters make decisions on whether to go with a story or not, and it is always better to be safe than sorry. Our reputation isn’t worth a small or large exclusive. There is no reason to burn our readers for a cheap uptick in traffic for a day or two. It is not how I or we operate, and never will be. More →
According to Engadget, the site that scooped the pics, this prototype was “found on the floor of a San Jose bar inside of an iPhone 3G case” and supposedly features a front-facing camera and 80GB of internal memory. Here’s what we’re betting on… we do think this unit is actually real and not a fake, clone or anything else. But, we’re guessing it’s very — and we mean very — early along in the prototype phase. Not to say the final design isn’t all ready to go, but we’re guessing this isn’t it. For starters, look at the seems in the aluminum casing. You think Apple, of unibody fame, would not have a single piece of machined aluminum for the bezel? Also, the phone appears to be flat, like, completely flat on both sides. That basically goes against almost all of Apple’s principles. Additionally, look at the back of the phone. It actually looks it’s supposed to be the front of the device. You can clearly see either a piece of glass or plastic that’s fitted into the case much like how the display is on an iPhone 3GS, or the display on the iPad. Look at the material around the sides of the back of the phone, you’ll see what we mean. So, we do think this is Apple-manufactured, we just don’t think this is anything close to what we’ll see announced in June. What do you guys think? Photo of the back of the device after the break, and hit Engadget for the rest of the photos! More →
Take this as you will, but we’ve been told the images floating around of “BlackBerry OS 6.0” are nothing more than concept mockups that were originally made for RIM’s MWC presentation.
Nary a day after its announcement, a hastily made, WordPress.com-hosted blog claims to have the first ever pictures of the new Google Chrome OS. The OS was purportedly installed on an aging dual core Acer Extensa 4620Z as part of a demonstration given to the Acer team at company that supplies parts for Acer. The screenshots show a very minimal OS with a docking bar, reportedly called the Chrome bar, and Google Talk as the only available application. The leaker claims to have seen a quick run through of the OS and was able to snag these screenshots with his mini cam when the Google rep let his guard down for 10 seconds. Hmm, an interesting story and one that would certainly lead to a mess once the rep recognizes that unmistakable table. These screenshots can be easily forged and contain a fair amount of inconsistencies — why is the Google logo coloring off, who designed that childish Google Talk icon and why is the OS not running on the Acer Aspire One netbook, the target platform for this OS? Hit the jump for a few more screenshots and let us know what you think.
UPDATE: The person who posted these images admitted they are fake, as most suspected. Links to the post have been removed.
We try to avoid covering the unending waterfall of handset copies that flows out of China, but this one is so bad it’s good. Behold, the Nokia N97i. The “i“, by the way, apparently stands for “it doesn’t even have a QWERTY keypad”. Found lounging about in a shop in China, the N97i kiiiiind of, sort of, almost looks like an N97 until you turn it on… or flip it over and see the 3.2 megapixel camera… or try to slide the display up to reveal the keypad of course. In terms of the UI, it looks a little bit like S60 on a 1/10th VGA display with a hint of iPhone thrown into the mix. Yes, it’s a mess. The N97i apparently runs about 750 yuan, or $110, and will be just as popular in the US as the real N97 before the price drops. Hit the jump for more pics.
Next time when you post a photoshopped image of a BlackBerry, make sure you don’t leave the mic hole from a BlackBerry 8800 on the bottom. It’s a dead giveaway. So is it 100% photoshopped? No. But we’d go as far as 99.99% since we made this in about 8 minutes and the original picture just doesn’t feel right. Who knows.
If you see a listing for an iPhone nano on eBay, don’t freak out and spend your life savings to be the first to own this hotly rumored device. Chances are quite good that the phone you receive will not be a genuine Apple product but a cheap knockoff from Thailand – and by “chances are quite good,” we mean it’s fake. iPhone knockoffs appear to be a dime a dozen in Thailand with some designed to fool the casual shopper by bearing an authentic-looking Apple logo and iPhone branding on the phone. Some feature the iconic iPhone interface while others come in a variety of colors. We especially enjoy the knockoff branded as the iPhone “Mini”. Before you jump all over the iPhone nano XSKN rumor and call shenanigans, note that the purported iPhone nano skin designed by XSKN will not fit these knockoffs. The XSKN sports a different design, including a home button that sits close to the edge of the touchscreen and not towards the bottom of the handset. Hit the jump for a few more fake iPhone nano pictures for your amusement.
Yeah, we’ve heard it all before. “How many different ways can you present a phone on video?” “No, it’s not copying the iPhone commercials and video walkthroughs.” “You’re an Apple fanboy!” Blah, blah, blah. But we’re sure we’re not the only ones a bit surprised to see RIM offering a video sneak peak at the BlackBerry Bold. As nice as that is, there are a couple things that really get under our skin. First off, RIM has never done this before. They’re trying to get the consumer market and be hip, and we get that. It’s just that the Bold isn’t really a consumer device. It’s more targeted at corporate users with its high price. So why bother? They may be scared that small and medium sized business users are going to switch over to the new iPhone — which could be partly true. You know, seeing as how no one in the U.S. will be able to buy the friggin’ thing until mid-August. But our real big issue with the video is (stop comparing it to the iPhone, damn it!) that it’s fake! It’s all a render! Nothing on that video is real except for the person’s hands over a green screen. And that’s still questionable. The OS and device are all computer-generated; every single thing you see in that video is not real. Does that not bother anyone? Web browser? Fake. Email? Fake? Phone call? Fake. Home screen? Fake. Come on, RIM. You’re better than that. You’re resorting to fake phone demos now? Mmm.