Apple may face some trouble if it tries to launch the iPhone 5 in China. Why? Because someone has already built it.
Apple is in the middle of a massively public patent infringement battle with Samsung. The Cupertino-based company claims that Samsung stole some aspects of the iPad and iPhone's design for its own Galaxy line of tablets and smartphones. In fact, Samsung isn't the only company that Apple has filed suit against for patent infringement, and considering its history with filing suits, we imagine it will be pretty upset by the actions of a Chinese company that has built a phone based on leaked images of the iPhone 5. Not only that, but this company has also patented the design of said device.
BGR points to an article on GizChina that says a Chinese manufacturer has thrown together a phone based on Apple's rumored iPhone 5 and patented the device. The company said it plans to sue Apple if it tries to put the iPhone 5 up for sale in China. GizChina reports that the GooPhone i5 is an Android 4.0 smartphone based on a Tegra 3 processor and 1GB of RAM. In keeping with iPhone 5 rumors, the GooPhone i5 features a 4 inch screen, smaller dock connector and larger external speaker grills.
Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 5 at an event next Thursday, so we'll have to wait until then to see how the real iPhone 5 compares to the GooPhone i5.