April 4, 2011

Fake iPads Burned For Chinese Burial Ceremony

Shortages of Apple's iPad 2 extends from the actual Apple gadget to paper versions that are used to burn for the yearly Qingming Festival in Asia, Reuters reports.

Also known as the tomb sweeping festival, Chinese families in Malaysia celebrating the Qingming Festival honor their ancestors by burning fake money or replicas of luxury items such as flashy cars and designer bags.

Stemming from Confucian teachings of loyalty to family and tradition, the festivities are widely observed among the Chinese in Malaysia, who make up a quarter of the 28 million people in the primarily Muslim but still multicultural country.

Shopkeeper Jeffrey Te, fills a cardboard chests with fake money at his shop on the outskirts of the capital. "Some of my customers have dreams where their departed relatives will ask for luxury items including the iPad 2. I can only offer them the first iPad model," he explains, pointing to shelves stocked with the gadget along with paper iPhones and Samsung Galaxy Tabs.

Te shipped in 300 iPad 2 replica sets from China for the Qingming festival, which sold out very quickly and left him with frustrated customers --similar to the supply problem Apple also faces with the real iPad 2.

First and second generation paper iPads at Te's shop sell for a dollar with a claimed 888 gigabyte capacity, an auspicious number in Chinese culture. An Apple-built 16 gigabyte iPad for the living costs $499.

The latest gadgets will not be part of the gift list for their dead relatives of all those who observe the practice. "They belong to the older generation. If you give all these so-called iPads, they don't know how to use it," said Thomas Soong, 61, as he set fire to a pile of fake money at his grandmother's grave on the fringes of the Malaysian capital. "So traditionally we give them shoes, shirts ... all the necessities," he added.


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