updated 02:45 pm EST, Mon November 26, 2007
Meizu M8 at CES
Meizu's M8 (also known as the MiniOne) could be at least temporarily on display in the same country as the iPhone it copies, allege sources speaking to the Chinese mobile site CNMO. The reported insiders say the touchscreen phone will miss its late 2007 target but that it should see a formal introduction at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas for mid-January, potentially representing the first public demonstration of a working model. The actual launch may occur just a month later, according to the report. The touchscreen is said to be refined and very close in functionality to that of the Apple device the company is attempting to duplicate. Just the software is believed to require the final polish before the release.
The M8 is widely regarded as a smaller but potentially more feature-rich phone than the original, with a 3-inch screen, a GPS receiver, and a removable battery known to be part of the final design. It is uncertain as to whether the M8 will support networks outside of its native China, though its radio is likely to allow at least some use outside of the southeast Asian country.
Apple has not commented on Meizu's apparent imitation since its announcement shortly after that of the iPhone early this year, and it remains unknown whether the California firm will attempt to block the exhibition of the M8 at the Las Vegas show. To date, Apple is not known to have any legal options in China should it object to the M8's launch.