Is China the Only Copier on the Block?

As a follow up to my recent post on “Why does China copy designs?”, and enlighten reader has pointed out to me that China is not the only one copying “following” and improving in the design world. Reputable European brands seem to do the same as well. Check it out after the jump.
Thanks to Ed. C for the heads up and links.

Ed. C laments:
1. Marantz player and Grundig Ovation player looks exactly the same!!
2. Marantz player remote control looks exactly the same remote that Loewe has!!
So who got it first?

Here are the graphics and links for you to judge for yourselves!
First we have the unique Loewe Remote.
lowe_remote

Next we have the sleek Marantz player
image02
image01
image03
image04

Finally we study the Grundig Ovation player
grundig

All in all, it’s interesting would you not say? Well in the consumer electronics industry it is pretty common for re-badging or re-branding of similar looking products. Do take a look at my previous re-badging article on Microsoft Zune, and other mp3 players as another example. So therefore it is likely Marantz and Grundig either OEM from each other or from another common source. I don’t blame them as the CE industry is ruthless and ultra-competitive. Similar products, copies all come out so quickly that it is difficult to justify spending the R&D dollars as ROI periods are extremely short. Anyways I suppose there is a fine line between copying/following and being inspired by another design or designer.
So what are we as designers are suppose to do these days? Let’s discuss?

9 Comments
  • Zampik

    May 23, 2007 at 4:04 pm Reply

    Sure not just China copying, this happening everywhere and in all industries I guess, here is the website about plagiarism.
    http://www.plagiarius.com
    They have built museum of plagiarism (in Germany in Solingen, close to Dusseldorf)and also they giving prices: Plagiarius Awards from 2004. Check plagiarius Award 2007: http://www.plagiarius.com/e_awards_plag2007_2.html
    regards

  • Design Translator

    May 23, 2007 at 6:22 pm Reply

    Hi Zampik,
    Thanks for the plagiarius link I was looking for it. The interesting thing about it is many of the companies are from Europe and the US.

  • Zampik

    May 24, 2007 at 12:10 am Reply

    Probably they are focused mainly on German designs which are copied, even by other German companies.
    There are just two companies out of Germany.

  • Jasper

    May 25, 2007 at 12:16 pm Reply

    Hey have you ever seen the China smart…
    http://carscoop.blogspot.com/2006/10/huoyun-electromobile-yes-its-chinese.html
    also check out the copy of the Neoplan 5 star buses
    the originial: http://www.neoplan.de/
    the copy A9 model of Zonda: http://www.zonda.com/enzonda/products/index.htm

  • endsig

    May 31, 2007 at 8:37 am Reply

    Its interesting that many people are busy raving about how china is ripping off many designs these days, but many people quickly forget history. during the development stages of most industrialized nations, manufacturers copy many designs so that they learn how to actually go about building similar products, once they can produce the product better than the person they copied it off they usually begin to move into being more original. the most prominent example being Samsung, started life ripping off many western products and is now churning out some of the worlds most innovative designs. Also many American companies during their postwar industrial development did the same and as well as Australian manufacturing from the 1950’s up until most of it moved to china.

  • Design Translator

    June 1, 2007 at 6:23 am Reply

    Hi endsig,
    I think you have summed up very well why my little article is trying to imply.
    Thanks and please keep intouch.

  • rik

    May 28, 2008 at 5:44 pm Reply

    I just bought one (Grundig ovation2)today in Australia!
    I am a Japanese living in Australia. In Japan,
    marantz Japan sells this CD player for 55000yen ish
    and it is so poplar amongst design consious consumers.
    I wanted one in Australia but it was not available from marantz Australia. I thought of getting one from Japan but the voltage was an issue.
    So, I did some research on it and by chance, I found the exactly the same spec/design from a german make, Grundig.
    The price used to be (just a month ago? $599) and now it came down to RRP$399.
    I dare to say it is a copy because I am sure that marantz OEMed from some one…it could be made by Grundig by working with marantz design team?
    Anyway, I don’t know WHO actually makes it because I am not the expert in this EC area, but the sound is great and I am so happy listening to music with it and getting the high quality audio!I am pretty sure that they are the same thing.just the different brand name printed on the player and the remote:)

  • Daphne

    September 5, 2008 at 3:26 pm Reply

    I don’t think there is anthing wrong with copy. In my opinion, copying the advanced technology is the quickest way for China to become a developed country. Just look at the example of our neigbour country Japan. China is so backward in many aspects as to science technology. Why not copy the developed? Copy is acceptable and necessary for our country but the point is we should conduct innovation from their technology. Just look at what Dongyu Auto Group did. I believe our national industry will have a brilliant future!

  • Alvaro

    February 21, 2009 at 10:38 pm Reply

    The original one is of grundig, only that in japon sells like marantz

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