back to article Apple antagonist Proview unveils its own iPad

Chinese shell-of-a-company Proview Shenzhen, embroiled in a trademark dispute with Apple over the name "iPad", held a press conference in Beijing to plead their case and to show the assembled journos an assortment of marketing materials for their own iPAD. The Proview iPAD has no resemblance whatsover to Apple's fondleslab, …

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  1. Number6
    FAIL

    Excess padding?

    That looks more like a knee pad than a note pad.

    1. LarsG

      IF...

      You look at it from the front it has four corners!

      But I just can't see it as a pad, and as to resting it on your knee?

      Still, it is all about the NAME, not the device.

      Hey Ho!

  2. Bullseyed
    WTF?

    "The Proview iPAD has no resemblance whatsover to Apple's fondleslab, but there's more than a passing similitude between it and another groundbreaking Apple product, the original bulbous iMac."

    Is this a jab at how Apple lies about everything being magical and revolutionary or is the author actually of the opinion that the iMac was a "groundbreaking" product? If the author is indeed of that opinion, then I am afraid I must announce that I do not wish to reside on this planet anymore. iMacs were garbage.

    1. jai

      you prefer to live on a planet that still uses floppy disks then?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Whaaa?

      Why would you think the iPAD was released before the iMac? I assumed Proview copied the iMac's design but if you know better, please enlighten us.

    3. Mephistro Silver badge

      Not to be picky, but...

      ...a product can be groundbreaking and garbage at the same time. Many first generation gadgets where full of bugs and design problems. It's an inherent risk of innovation.

    4. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Erm, while they weren't the most amazing computer. That was largely down to the legacy Mac OS.

      But they were ground breaking in terms of design. Up until them most computers were dull ugly beige boxes. The iMac showed people that computers could be attractive.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "The iMac showed people that computers could be attractive."

        ...because no one else thought they could be! Eh?

        Silly.

        1. Prag Fest
          Stop

          Re: "The iMac showed people that computers could be attractive."

          ...because no one else thought they could be! Eh?

          Silly.

          Examples please?

  3. frank ly Silver badge
    Facepalm

    $30m on development .....

    ... but they wouldn't spend a few hundred for a native English speaker to proof-read and re-write their marketing material.

    Why do Chinese (and other nationalities) do this?

    1. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: $30m on development .....

      So how's your Chinese then? If your prime market is China, why would you care about writing good marketing material in English?

      The point isn't that. The point is that they've actually been using this trademark in China since 1998. What on earth gives a US company the right to take it from them?

      It's the VAX story all over again, but I bet you would have sided with VAX (a British company) against Digital. VAX, I remind you, are still in business, unlike Digital. Oh, and they are now Chinese-owned...

      1. BlueGreen

        "If your prime market is China, why [...] care about writing good marketing material in English?"

        If your prime market is China, why write it in english at all? They did so they do care - but not enough do it properly.

        No, the original question is good and still unanswered, why are chinese/japanese translations so crap. I'd like to know.

        (above nationalities uncapitalised to annoy pedants)

      2. ThomH Silver badge

        @Yes Me

        It's not really a question of right to take away, it's a question of whether the contract Apple has that ostensibly gives it rights to the name is valid. Thrown into that seems to be some sort of confusion about exact ownership of different parts of Proview. So Apple's case is that it paid to purchase the mark and Proview failed to assign it, Proview's case is that whomever Apple dealt with, it was somebody else.

        I don't think there's any dispute that Apple paid someone and thought it had bought the mark in good faith, despite its history of launching products and dealing with the legal issues later (ala the iPhone and Linksys). There's definitely nobody suggesting that Apple has the right just to swoop in and take ownership of the trade mark because its an American company or a much bigger company or anything like that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Headmaster

      The Japanese answer

      Have you seen the English on some Japanese packaging? It makes no sense at all.

      I asked a Japanese colleague about this. His reply, "You know how Chinese characters are sometimes used as decoration on Western products? It is the same with English characters in Japan: they are there just to look pretty."

      1. Goldmember
        Thumb Up

        @Thad Re: The Japanese answer

        Indeed, English text has become a fashion thing in Japan. Teenage girls walk around with slogans such as 'I'm wet and ready' on their t-shirts, having no clue what those funny foregin characters actually say.

      2. southern skies
        Paris Hilton

        Re: The Japanese answer

        The best example I've seen recently was the department store having a "Fuckin' Sale!"

        Google it if you don't believe me.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: $30m on development .....

      Because every non English speaking nation should accomodate the English, in everything! What arrogance.

    4. frank ly Silver badge
      Stop

      'Yes Me and AC:19:04

      My 'Chinese' is non-existent. But, If I were producing written material in Mandarin, I'd make sure it was checked (and re-written) by a native speaker, living in China with a technical background. To not take that simple and inexpensive extra step would be 'arrogant' of me. To expect the same from others seems reasonable to me.

  4. Gordon 10 Silver badge

    Cheeky fusckers

    So rip off iMac - check.

    Play shell game with copyright rights - check

    Piss money up wall - check.

    Start legal action based on shell game - check.

    What a bunch of shysters Proview are/were.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cheeky fusckers

      I must admire their gall, but if they do have the rights to the name, well bad luck Apple.

      As revenge I would brand the iPad in China calling it the 'IFLUCKMEE' for a black one and 'IFLUCKYUU' I in white.

      Now that would be sweet.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re: Cheeky fusckers

        Better yet, call it the iProview.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Joke Alert

    It's not a complete rip off of the Apple product.

    Their markup is only 7% not 40%.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Joke Alert

      7%? If only that...

      Let's see "spent $30m on developing and manufacturing the iPAD, and that they had produced "between 10,000 and 20,000""

      So that comes to a production cost of $1500 per unit. Did they really sell this piece of s**** for $1500? Somehow I doubt it. So I suspect their markup was actually -40%.

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

        Re: Re: Joke Alert

        No wonder they are bankrupt - 30m pissed up the wall gives a massively unsustainable price per unit for the volume sold in the Chinese market - very few people there could spend anything like $1500 on a pc. Therefore it must have been priced *much* lower and didn't sell anywhere near the volume needed to break even.

        1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
          Coat

          All ProView has is their iP

          sorry, I'll get me coat

  6. Gerard Krupa

    ProView

    Once upon a time ProView's business was producing cheap, crappy monitors. Now everyone is doing that thanks to the over-abundance of 1080p screens. I'm amazed they're still in business at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ProView

      They aren't, no - the banks who now own their assets are.

  7. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Time to fondle like its 1999!

  8. lesway
    Joke

    Unoriginal iMac

    The iMac was just a belated imitation of the groundbreaking Amstrad PCW all-in-one-box concept.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amstrad_PCW

    I suggest Lord Sugar should sue both Apple and Proview.

    (For those who don't remenber it, the Amstrad PCW was also pretty crap, so it seems Apple and Proview half-inched that concept too)

    1. Moof

      Re: Unoriginal iMac

      I call BS. The original Mac was in production long before that piece of history. The iMac was Jobs's firm belief in building an "appliance", controlling the experience by controlling both hardware and software. It is a direct descendant of the first Mac.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Unoriginal iMac

      Baron Sugar vs Sir Jonathan. Place your bets.

      BATTLE!!!!!!!

    3. HeNe
      Meh

      Unoriginal Amstrad

      Building the CPU board and floppies into the monitor cabinet was not an "original" idea by Amstrad.

      NEC, circa 1982:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NEC_APC.jpg

      IBM Datamaster, 17 Feb 1982:

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/diana5/393075200/

      Going back farther...

      Tektronix 4051 (ran BASIC, had a built-in DC300a tape storage unit) circa 1976:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tektronix_4051_ad_April_1976.jpg

      HP 9830a (ran BASIC, had a built in cassette storage unit and built-in thermal printer), circa 1972:

      http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?st=1&c=950

      I've used those beasts. The HP thermal printouts would fade to purple-black if you didn't keep them well away from heat sources.

  9. The Unexpected Bill
    Go

    I've seen that before...

    That's basically a Compaq iPaq Internet Appliance (either the IA-1 or the IA-2, I don't recall which one is which). The iPaq CRT monitor's OSD behaves identically to a Mag InnoVision monitor. There is some relation between Proview and Mag InnoVision...

    Proview's rendition has a different color scheme, but every other aspect of the design is identical to the Compaq product. These two Compaq products were members of the ill-fated Internet Appliance "craze" of the late 90s/early 2000s. They featured a National Semiconductor Geode CPU and booted into Windows CE from a DiskOnChip device.

    I found one on the curb. It's still moldering in my basement, as I never had much luck getting it to boot into anything other than the copy of Windows CE on the flash memory disk.

    1. Quxy
      Unhappy

      Re: I've seen that before...

      Yep, that's what the ProView IPAD was. I ran into a few of them in China, and they were just as useless as the iPaq.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Proview was not a new name

    DEC had a product called Proview in the early 1980's.

    I should know, I wrote at least 50% of it.

  11. Nights_are_Long
    WTF?

    IP vs Brand.

    To be honest I think this is more a case of Apple saying "Well we own the i... Branding and we have used the iPad as part of our over all product which preexists prior to this trade marks inception ergo we have not intentionally infringed on a trade mark"

    Having said that I still think apple should say "Opp's our bad" and pay them off to use it, but sadly that is not the apple way, but I feel that this little pseudo iMac would lend credence to Apple counter suing them over IP infringement as the original iMac for it's time was a damned unusual design that looked good.

    Either way the whole IP war has just got silly, seriously how can a physical gesture be trade marked or patented, the TV my folks had till I was 12 used a sliding motion to raise and lower the volume and that was a Toshiba are they going to try and pwn apple over it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Optional

      You haven't been following, have you?

      Apple paid them 38m for all the regsitered rights to the name that Proview owned (10) in all incl. China.This case is about some Chinese Gangsters, and Apple is pretty much blameless AFAICS

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Optional

        Wow, a "thumbs down" for a statement of fact.

        'Tis a hard life being a commentard in these forums, where anything which might cast Apple in a positive light, such as objective statements of fact, generate thumbs down.

        The Register forums continue their inevitible decline to the level or moronicness (is that a word?) that chracterises so much of the internet.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Re: Optional

          Or maybe you got your thumbs down for being slightly condescending in your presentation of that fact.

          *thumbsdown*

          damn, the system works!

          1. fixit_f
            Happy

            Re: Re: Re: Optional

            It was probably for spelling "eke" incorrectly.

    2. Jim in Hayward
      Thumb Up

      But Apple paid Proview for the iPad name in 10 countries including China. Proview is a Taiwain company and their China division is saying the payment Apple made is not valid for the trademark that exists in China.

      Proview is going bankrupt very quickly (within 60 days at best) and is trying to eek a couple of million to give to the officers.

      Apple is within their rights to defend against this attempt to ignore what they paid for.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PROVIEW as a COMPANY, BIG FAIL!

    Welcome to Proview's Corporate Headquarters in Shenzhen:

    http://allthingsd.com/files/2012/02/proview_shenzhen.png

    That is all!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: PROVIEW as a COMPANY, BIG FAIL!

      Now't new there then.

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Local Group
    Happy

    Rik:, (Proview wants) to make a few yuán off Apple by forcing a settlement over the iPad trademark."

    Get outta here! ;-)

  15. Herba
    FAIL

    ...

    No wonder they have financial problems, they are trying to sell 10 years old tech...

  16. lemmac

    looks like iMac?

    My C64 looked a lot like an iMac too, when attached to the right portable tv, indeed a good 15 years prior to iMac. I always thought the Apple 'revolution' at the time was more a devolution...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's pics, so it did happen

    Very detailed photos of the actual device, taken by an owner:

    https://picasaweb.google.com/108815326764525357704/ProviewIPAD

    There were two versions of Proview's iPad, one ran Windows CE with th MSN Companion interface. The other, funnily enough, ran BeIA, also known as BeOS for Internet Appliances.

    As some may recall Apple was close to buying BeOS before deciding to bring back Steve Jobs and his company NeXT instead.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Here's pics, so it did happen

      As much as I'd like to see it that link appears to be dead. Has it gone somewhere else?

  18. Neil Alexander
    Thumb Down

    Must absolutely everything in the world involve Apple?

    If it's a phone review, it's compared with the iPhone. If it's a tablet review, it's compared with the iPad. If it has the letter "i" in the name, it must be something to do with Apple. If it's something to do with Apple, then it's probably a legal dispute.

    It's really quite tiring.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: Must absolutely everything in the world involve Apple?

      You do realise you don't have to read it all - let alone take the time to commentard it?

      1. Neil Alexander
        Thumb Down

        Re: Re: Must absolutely everything in the world involve Apple?

        It's hard not to. Upon searching for reviews for a new Android phone recently, I was faced with nearly all of them comparing straight to the iPhone. Apple propaganda is inevitable everywhere it seems, even more so that they're trying to sue the crap out of everyone.

        1. Franklin
          Devil

          Re: Re: Re: Must absolutely everything in the world involve Apple?

          "Apple propaganda is inevitable everywhere it seems,..."

          Thanks in no small part to dedicated and vocal Apple-bashers who hate on any device that looks, works, or performs similar tasks to any Apple product.

          'Tis a bit tiring--on both sides--but inevitable. It's the way human beings work. I am old enough to remember exactly the same things--often nearly word for word--from the TRS-80, Commodore 64, and Apple II camps.

    2. Andy Fletcher

      Re: Must absolutely everything in the world involve Apple?

      Yes

    3. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: Must absolutely everything in the world involve Apple?

      The iPhone is usually the top selling single handset in any given portion of the year, because the Android market is more diverse and no single handset accounts for a sufficiently disproportionate share. The iPad is also currently the top selling tablet.

      So while Apple doesn't hold anything even close to a majority of the phone market, its handset is still prominent enough to be worth citing in other handset reviews. The iPad just barely still holds a majority of the tablet market so is obviously relevant to tablet reviews.

      I don't see any problem with reviewers comparing new products to the best selling products in the same category.

      As for always mentioning legal disputes while talking about Apple? You'd have to talk to Apple's legal department to find out why that's currently almost unavoidable.

      1. Tim Bates

        Re: Re: Must absolutely everything in the world involve Apple?

        McDonalds is the most common "restaurant" in the world, but you don't see reviews of classy 5 star establishments comparing the experience or quality to them, do you?

        In most cases, there's no need to compare any phone to another phone. Only the size and weight can really be used for reference, and even then that's relying on the reader having access to the same product (where a ruler is even more common than an iPhone).

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's really quite tiring.

      Oh it's more than tiring. It's bloody tedious. When will you people STOP f king banging on about it?

      It’s a poxy tablet, an idea that was borne YEARS before Slackle created theirs. If it wasn't for the success of the ipod, the iphone and pad would not have been as successful.

      Remember, human beings are SHEEP. Enough people bang on about a product and eventually everyone jumps on-board. So much so, that now it's NOT COOL to be seen with one, because the world, their dog and its fleas have one, each "person" thinking "look how cool I am". Everyone else thinking “W O W, you’re as thick and three short planks, and as deep as a puddle”

      JUST STOP THE CR_P!

  19. C-N
    Headmaster

    Nothing is impossible?

    I think you mean "Impossible is nothing."

  20. Adam T
    Alert

    1998 - 2009

    Am I the only one that blinked when I read this?

    What do they mean? They've been selling the same box they made in 1998, for 11 years? That they made just under 2,000 a year?

    Funny story anyway - I love the advertising copy.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Love it! - and quite culturally astonishing

    The sheer audacity of their approach is admirable. David (or Chinese Dell Boy) v Goliath.

    It also shows how culturally different the market is to ours - and why it's so hard for Western companies to get to grips with.

    Running Linux or Citrix ! - brilliant - plus the device was manufactured for over a decade.

    I'm not sure how much it changed over that time - you'd assume the specs would be increased?

    As far as looking like the old iMac, yeah, sure, in that it looks like an elongated small CRT TV.

    That design ethic, which was (apparently) cool back in 1998, looks so dated now it's scary.

    I recall the Bondi blue imac, a few appeared in our studio at the time, but were never taken seriously. It was style over substance - the designers hated working on them, slow, with tiny screens. They also got very tacky very quickly - apple had patented the scratch attracting surface way before the chrome backed iPhones and iPods (those devices just perfected it)

    Also, the iMacs of 1998 ran on Mac OS 9 ... I'll leave it that one there, like an embarrassed elephant in the room that can't *cough* multi-task very well to the point where printing a document = dead mac. Ok, I didn't leave it there, Mac OS 9 wasn't ... stunted.

    I reckon I'd of preferred and iPad way back in 1998, if I'd even knew they existed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Love it! - and quite culturally astonishing

      I'd have to add, where I was working back in 1998 (south africa), the idea of running an Apple Mac at home was virtually unheard of, so the iMacs tended to end up in wanky design agencies - initially given to designers, who soon shunned them and eventually ending up in the reception area, after that the spare office under some boxes and finally, at the recycling centre.

      << mod me down on this, they were CRAP.

    2. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: Love it! - and quite culturally astonishing

      The iMac was actually quite speedy for 1998. The other issues you mention — the hugely outdated OS and screen too small for the Mac's niche audience of design and publishing houses — were greater problems.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This almost makes me want to take Apple's side.

    Almost.

  23. aurizon

    All Apple needs to do is announce that they are returning the fabrication of the i**** to the USA. At which time Proview will get savagely oppressed

  24. Hooksie

    Clearly a bunch of sheisters

    I'm no apple fanboi but I have to side with them on this one. If you go out and deliberately pay for the name of a product from a company then 10 years later, after your product has generated millions in profit, they try to claim that you didn't pay for it in THIS country then you would be within your rights to be angry. Not only that but you would be going through the original documentation to see exactly what was sold and then sue the pants off them.

    On top of that you find that the product they had which carried the name you bought bore a more than passing resemblance to your iconic product, you'd be even more miffed.

    I think Apple, for once, have every right to raise a legal case to both defend their IP and also their reputation since they did try to do things right.

    @ThomH, I assume you were joking when you said "The iPad just barely still holds a majority of the tablet market so is obviously relevant to tablet reviews." JUST BARELY????? Really? That's like saying Yussain Bolt just barely won that 100m final when he jogged to the finishing line. You were just being sarcy though right?

    @Neil, yes, Apple did pretty much appropriate the iEverything to the point where when other companies bring out anything iCopy then you assume it must be an Apple product or something to DO with an Apple product. That's the very definition of branding. And they created the tablet market as it is today. I remember the product launch and thinking "That's just a big iPod Touch, didn't take much design there. Why would you want that?" and I thought it would be a complete failure. Now everyone and their dog has a tablet, anyone who can afford one has an iPad and everyone else goes for a cheaper copy or a just as expensive but more capable copy.

  25. accsam

    26 Letters in the alphabet so why did Proview choose the letter "i"?

    When I last checked with my 5 year old son there are still 26 letters in the alphabet.

    Apple has used the letter "i" in front of their gadgets for donkeys years..

    Therefore, anyone else using this must surely have the aim of trying to impersonate this well known brand. There should be a law against Proview using this. It should by law be irrelevant who registered the name first - what is important is the reason why they registered and used the letter "i"?

    International law does not allow you to register website domains that are purely created to earn revenue off the big brands eg you cannot register the domain "Walmart" for no reason and then hold the real company to ransom to pay you millions to get it registered in their name unless your name is "Walmart". So the motive to register the letter "i" must have been to get revenue from Apple since there were another 25 letters to choose from.

    I think international law should be similarly applied.

    1. Tim Bates
      Facepalm

      Re: 26 Letters in the alphabet so why did Proview choose the letter "i"?

      Read the advertising material posted with the article... It stood for "Internet Personal Access Device" - which in China in 1998 would have been something not many people had.

      Apple may have released the "iMac" in 1998, but they didn't release the "iPad" until a long time later... And simply releasing one product with the letter "I" in it's name does not give you exclusive rights to that letter... Especially since Apple's reason for using that letter was the same as Proviews - "INTERNET" was a big new thing in 1998.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Rik said:As near as The Reg and Google Translate can tell"

    LOL given the translation is rather key to understanding in this, you could have at least nipped down your local chippy and asked the Chinese manager to have his dad/granddad to properly translate this text for you.

    "With the disclosure of the Proview iFamily and the iMac knockoff"

    LO it's not like there never been any so called imac clones both knock-off and officially sanctioned with apple supplied official ROMS ( to get them out of a financial black hole and save apple from Bankruptcy too OC) that were actually faster and cheaper than the real things back in the day when design look wasn't so high on the agenda as there was not so much profit to be made by suing for that.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_Computing to name but one PPC imac clone provider

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