Last week, a blogger exposed five counterfeit Apple stores in China but now, to the surprise of many, additional stores have been found in a variety of other countries.
Fake stores have already been found in Croatia and Venezuela, to name but a few, and other stores are expected to be found as the story develops.
Two of five Chinese stores have already been shutdown by government officials, in an attempt to deter the illegal sale of fraudulent Apple goods, however the damage may have already been done.
It appears that after the blog was published the Kunming Trade and Industry Bureau assessed as many as 300 electronics stores in Kunming and found five that were deemed fraudulent, two of which have now been closed down.
The blogger, that originally exposed the Chinese stores, has now revealed that other less than legitimate stores may exist in Burma, Croatia, Columbia, Slovenia, Spain and Venezuela. The blogger received this information after being emailed by readers of the original blog.
It is thought that Apple has been targeted in this way as their brand can attract big business, especially when costs are reduced by selling cheap knock-offs.
The 331 official Apple stores worldwide have accrued $3.5 billion in revenue in the last financial quarter alone. Hence, it is understandable why fraudulent stores are opportunistically selling unofficial versions of the iPad, iPod and iPhone.
This is not the first time that pirate versions of sought-after products have flooded the market, as the same thing happened with the Kindle. Although these fake products rarely make it into the West, they do dilute the strength of the brand worldwide.
As of yet, the number of fraudulent stores has not been determined but the fact that they are present in several countries is quite worrying.