Thu, Jul 14, 2011 - Page 10 News List

Chinese man makes iPad look-alike from scratch

AFP, BEIJING

An undated handout photo received yesterday shows an iPad look-alike made by Liu Xinying.

Photo: AFP/HO

An enterprising Chinese man has come up with a solution for gadget-crazy people who desperately want Apple’s popular iPad tablet computer but cannot afford it — DIY.

In a 20-minute video posted on Youku — the Chinese YouTube equivalent — Liu Xinying (劉新營) demonstrates how to assemble an iPad look-alike using computer parts, a touch screen and a case with a keypad, to the sound of metal music.

At the end of the video dubbed “DIY IPAD 3,” the IT whiz shows off the finished version — an apparently functional tablet computer that looks like a thick iPad, but runs on Windows, an operating system made by rival Microsoft.

News of Liu’s apparent feat spread on several foreign and Chinese technology Web sites, as well as on the nation’s Twitter-like Weibo (微博) service.

When contacted by AFP, the 21-year-old from the eastern province of Shandong said that since he posted the video online a month ago, he has knocked back requests from a dozen people wanting him to make them a DIY iPad.

“I did this for fun,” said Liu, who works at a computer store in Jinan city. “It cost me 2,000 yuan [US$309] to make it, so I guess that’s how much it’s worth.”

By comparison, the cheapest 16-gigabyte version of the iPad 2 sells for 3,688 yuan in China, while the most expensive 64-gigabyte model costs 5,288 yuan.

iPads and iPhones are hugely popular in China — the world’s largest Internet market with 457 million online users — and the launch of new models has been known to trigger fights and even crimes.

Last month, a court in the southern province of Guangdong sentenced three people to prison for stealing the design to the iPad 2 and using it to make fake tablet computers.

Apple also was forced to -compensate a customer who sustained injuries in a fight at its Beijing flagship store in May, when the iPad 2 was launched.

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