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Consumer Alert: New iClones Look Great, But Don’t Work

Counterfeiters have had two years to polish their iPhone look-a-likes, and today, are nearly impossible to identify on the outside, reports CultOfMac.com, which evaluated a video shot by MacMedics and clones being sold on eBay (NSDQ: EBAY).

The knock-offs, which typically produced in China, are thin, boast a large display with the one iconic button and all the telltale markings on the back, including the Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) symbol. Even the packaging looks the same. The improvements are considerable with clones of years’ past being bulkier, featuring more buttons and having other easy-to-spot inaccuracies. The fakes will make it more difficult for consumers to confidently buy the device on secondary markets, like eBay, but because they don’t function well, it probably won’t cut into Apple’s real sales.

In the video, even after the phone is turned on, it continues to look like the real deal with the familiar globe and the application icons on the homepage. The big difference comes in functionality and accessories. The video shows how difficult it is to use. When playing music, it’s difficult to pause or get out of the application. The accessories are comical, too, and include things such as stylus, a cheap pair of headphones and docking station with a pair of speakers.

With counterfeits getting better, CultOfMac offers this piece of advice: “How can you tell if the iPhone you