Police in Shanghai have arrested five people for allegedly manufacturing and selling near-perfect copies of the Apple device, Reuters reports.
The accused are said to have purchased the parts required to make a replica iPhone for around 2,000 yuan (£200), before selling them online and in the Chinese market for twice that amount.
A Shanghai police officer said: "It's really hard for customers to distinguish the fake ones from the genuine ones," but added that the handsets were not carbon copies.
Apple has long been a major target of counterfeiters in China. Online retail service Taobao previously stocked a device called the HiPhone 5, which was said to feature the same specs as the upcoming iPhone 5.
China also played host to dozens of bogus Apple stores, many of which have now been shut down by the authorities.
Apple is yet to comment on the recent activities in the territory.
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