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How to get Your Very Own iPad Mini – Before it Ships

Yesterday I posted a set of photos which I thought showed the real iPad Mini. Today I have learned that I, as well as pretty much all other bloggers, was had.

Mike Cane has turned up an Ebay auction for a dummy iPad Mini which looks exactly like the one in the photos yesterday. As you can see, it looks to have a screen identical to the one yesterday.


I would feel more embarrassed about this if not for the fact that I am only one of many bloggers who got snookered.  What’s more, this wasn’t just the work of a couple expert tricksters with a pirated copy of Photoshop. No, we were had by actual Chinese device makers who put real effort into designing and building a fake iPad Mini.

One of my readers asked me yesterday how I could tell the real leaks from the fake. I can’t, usually, and now that Chinese OEMs are getting into the act it is going to be impossible to tell what is real and what is fake.  Luckily for me I have never regarded the rumors as having anything to do with the real device, and that is a policy which I am going to have to extend to include leaked images as well.

But on the upside, you can now get an iPad Mini. It is selling on Ebay for $30, and that’s a price that I think is well worth paying just so I can show it off and mess with people’s heads.

Now that I know yesterday’s photos are fakes, I’m far less certain that we’ll see the iPad Mini next month.  If we don’t then I epxect to have any number of opportunities to show off the dummy and confuse people.

Speaking of which, at least one blog has already posted an unboxing video for the dummy iPad Mini. I’m not sure why they did it, but it happened:

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Mike Cane September 19, 2012 um 12:22 pm

Well, hell, who wouldn’t want a dummy one just to hold and get the feel of? In-home fake fondles!

Dan Eldridge September 19, 2012 um 1:26 pm

@Mike Cane – Yeah, exactly! I’m kind of fascinated by the growing sophistication of the Chinese knock-off market. In fact, I (inadvertently) spent a decent chunk of money about a year ago buying OTC medication from Amazon that turned out to be fake. And by the way, I didn’t buy it from a secondhand seller on the Amazon Marketplace; it came directly from Amazon. I was amazed when their customer service department didn’t seem to care one bit. (Actually, I got the sense that they assumed I was lying in an effort to get my money refunded.) Caveat emptor, huh?

That experience led me to a really good feature in the NYT about China’s counterfeit medicine racket, although I can’t seem to find the article now. This one looks interesting, though: ("Why Do the Chinese Copy So Much?" from the IHT.)

@Nate – Any chance you’ll be buying one of these $30 fake minis? I suspect you could turn out a pretty hilarious review!

Nate Hoffelder September 19, 2012 um 1:31 pm

I ordered one, yes.

Mike Cane September 19, 2012 um 1:51 pm


Mike Cane September 19, 2012 um 1:53 pm

Oh man, NEVER buy medicine online, NOT EVER. So much of it is counterfeit and some of it is even dangerous. I don’t care how trusted a supplier might be, there is no solid chain of evidence for the medicine NOT being fake like there is with a local pharmacy. You were lucky you weren’t injured or killed.

digital reader fan September 19, 2012 um 3:26 pm

Let us know when it arrives Nate. A great conversation piece. I enjoy all the speculation and possible leaks myself. Your prediction for a mini next year might be back in the running.

Tablet-news is showing a China first Android tablet with an iPad 3 Retina Display. They are hoping for a 200 dollar price point.

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