Cheapo Chinese iPhone 5 knock-offs appear

Although it's not unusual for rogue Chinese factories to churn out convincing copies of Apple's expensive gadgetry at a fraction of the price once they have been on sale for a few weeks, for the first time we can remember the Chinese have pipped the Cupertino company to the post by releasing an iPhone 5 clone months before the real deal arrives.

Giz-China has pics of the doppelganger which it says were based on case designs leaked last month and features a more rounded metal chassis surround than the squared-off iPhone, plastic panels back and front replace Apple's Gorilla Glass, while dual cameras and fake Apple logos and safety markings galore adorn the exterior. It also comes with a Java-based operating system which will no doubt be almost unusable.

The fake purports to have 64GB of RAM on board, which is highly unlikely given its $108 price tag, and could cause severe embarrassment at Apple HQ if it turns out to be anything like the real iPhone 5 confidently predicted my those in the know to be dropping some time in September or October depending on where you go to get your tech tittle-tattle.