Chinese firm claims Apple is guilty of iPad 'plagiarism'

Apple iPad

A Chinese company is threatening to sue Apple, claiming the design of the new iPad tablet mimics a device it has been selling in China for nearly six months.

Shenzhen Great Loong Brother Industrial argues that Apple has copied not only the concept of a multitouch tablet, but also the case design and screen bezel from its P88, which launched in August.

"We don't understand. Why did they make the same thing as us?" company executive Huang Xiaofang was quoted by AFP as saying. "We launched it earlier."

Great Loong president Xiaolong Wu, meanwhile, went even further, claiming that Apple is guilty of "plagiarism". But it could be a hard charge to prove. The iPad has been widely described as resembling a "giant iPhone" if so, it suggests Great Loong has mimicked Apple's own design with the P88, rather than the other way around.

Wu dismisses the claim, however, saying that "they have nothing to do with it, as they have completely different functions."

Aside from allegations of physical similarities, the P88 and iPad have little or nothing in common, with the P88 a far more traditional tablet than the iPad. It's bigger and heavier, with a 10.2in resistive touchscreen, a 250GB hard drive, 1GB of RAM and Windows XP as the operating system.

Battery life, meanwhile, comes in at 1.5 hours, just a fraction of the iPad's 10-hour capability.

Despite some fairly antiquated hardware, though, the P88 costs the equivalent of $525 $26 more than the entry-level iPad comes in at.

However, Wu remained adamant that the iPad is a P88 knock-off, even going so far to suggest his company may take legal action. "We are considering legal action, but we can not do much in the United States," he told Spanish newspaper El Mundo. "But if Apple brings the iPad to China, we will be forced to bring legal action against them, because it will certainly affect our sales."

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