Meizu is Forced to Cease Production of the M8 by Darth Vader

Posted by Greg | October 12, 2010  |  5 Comments

Apple has always been a bit pissy about its intellectual property, but for the first time they’ve decided to play dirty. Steve Jobs (aka Darth Vader) and his buddies have forced Meizu to stop production of their popular iPhone alternative, the M8. Apple has been using some pretty shady tactics to get this done, and in the process has replaced Microsoft as the Sith Lord of Silicon Valley.

This is a huge blow to Meizu as the M8 is its flagship phone, the sales of which are probably keeping the company afloat. As if forcing the company to shut down its M8 producing factories wasn’t enough, Apple has decided to go for Meizu’s jugular. Jack Wong, the CEO of Meizu, recently posted his own comments on the issue in the Meizu website forums:

Apple requested that we cease manufacturing the M8 this month, we agreed but then [Apple] came back and asked for a sales ban instead. I can cope with a production freeze, but not with having our shops closed and thus not being able to use up our inventory. If Apple and the provincial IPO take another insatiable step, I can only go head to head against them. – Jack Wong

This announcement has sent Chinese consumers into an M8 buying frenzy as they’ve become worried that the phone will soon be unavailable. Credit has to be given to Meizu, who unlike most companies *cough, apple, cough* whose products have risen in popularity, hasn’t decided to bump the price of the M8 up. They’ve instead decided to keep prices reasonable (8GB – RMB 1500, approx. US$225) and in turn keep the phone accessible to those with a lower income.

Fans line up in front of Meizu stores to get their hands on the last of the M8′s

The scary thing about this particular instance is that Apple’s IPO, using the Chinese State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) as a puppet, had the power to shut down Meizu’s factory without ever taking the case to trial. Even more frightening is the fact that the original claim made by apple against Meizu was something as petty as the fact that the M8′s “appearance is roughly similar” to that of the iPhone. All of this is taking place in Meizu’s backyard (China), where the government rarely steps in to defend the interests of foreign companies.

iPhone 3Gs vs. Meizu M8

Meizu has become extremely popular in China and has even gained plenty of support from fans around the world. Some of Meizu’s disgruntled fans have been getting in touch with Steve Jobs directly and one even received a reply to his question as to why Apple is attacking Meizu in his typical one liner style:

Even with all this turmoil there is a light at the end of the tunnel for Jack Wong. Meizu’s highly anticipated M9 is slated to be released this December, but that all depends on if the shut down the manufacturing factories has an effect on its production *fingers crossed*.

Sources: BBS Meizu via Engadget, Meizu

More Coverage: MeizuMe

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