Apple’s retail model has inspired a flattering crop of copycats.
After the news of the China clone stores, it looks like there is a thriving crop of pseudo-Apple resellers in Georgia.
Site Eurasia.net reports that in addition to the three authorized Apple resellers in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, a number of fake Apple stores have sprung up in capital Tbilisi.
These are gray-market stores selling authentic goods but they are not authorized by Apple to do so. They hang out their shingles with giant iPhone signs and Apple logos and some dress sales associates in signature Apple blue shirts.
Prices are comparable to the licensed resellers, often costing just a few dollars more at the unauthorized sellers.
The country has what the journalist describes as a “casual relationship to intellectual property rights” and Georgians are apparently more interested in buying Apple devices than buying them from approved sellers.
iPhone + currently operates six unauthorized resellers in the capital and has earned 73,000 likes on Facebook. (If social network “likes” are a reliable indication of popularity, authorized reseller Go! Electronics counts 54,000 thumbs up on Facebook.)
Like his Chinese counterparts, Giorgi Tsiklauri of iPhone + says he tried to get authorization from Apple but was ignored.
“As a result, iPhone+ took matters into its own hands and opened its first shop in 2009,” Tsiklauri said.