Originally Posted by morpheus
This is par for the course with offshore manufacturing.
I wonder if someone in China built a shadow factory when Amazon was putting together the Kindle2 production line? This is when the plans and specs for the new production line are quietly copied and they build an identical production line a few miles away to churn out the same goods, with a different brand. You see the end result on sites like dealextreme.com where they sell 'lookalike' products based on major US brands. In my experience the quality is often lacking in these products (to put it nicely).
Ultimately it doesn't really hurt Amazon much since their innovation is all in the software and backend service, and the Kindle hardware design is only a small part of their IP. It's not like a Kindle clone could buy from Amazon.com. I assume Amazon have their software and other IP locked down with digital certificates etc that cannot be easily cloned, and unofficial devices are locked out by default.
so called "5th shift" engineering. it's a major reason why nobody should do business there. i know people that invented really cool products, and within 2-3 months of having a chinese factory produce it, illegal and poorly functioning clones were being produced, sent to the usa, and customers called the ORIGINAL MAKER to complain !!! yow.
how many companies are making e-ink displays? mmm? even if NOTHING inside this look a like are the same, the damage is some ways is done.
now, if we could only get customs to actually lock down importing this illegal copycat junk.