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Who’s ripping off Windows Phone now: The Android bound Karbonn A6

We’re thinking of a new series to bring you simply called “Who’s ripping off Windows Phone now” because as many of you know, Modern UI has been lifted by quite a few companies and websites. In all honesty, we’re flattered and if anything it validates the attractiveness of Microsoft’s design.

But we do have limits, especially where “inspired by” crosses over into flat out copying.

Such is the case with the low priced Karbonn A6 Android phone (opens in new tab) that’s available in India. The phone physically looks a lot like the HTC 8S, a Windows Phone but from stock images, nothing is shown regarding the onboard Android OS. The phone features a dual-SIM, 1GHz CPU and a 4” IPS display running Android 4.0. At those specs, you have to know Android will be struggling.


HTC's 8S is flattered...

Now, in a new official ad the OS is finally shown and it is a 100% lift of Windows Phone 8, make no mistake. We’re not too sure what to make of that: is it just a marketing scam with the device actually just running stock Android or are they running a skin on top to make it all pretty-like?

We’re not certain but we’d file this under misleading, to say the least.

Source: YouTube; Thanks, Mohd. N., for the link!

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • No wonder given that WP sells so well in India.
  • Makes you wonder if it would cost less to just get an Android phone than hiring someone to Photoshop the phone
  • only happend in
  • Karbonn copied hahaha sad
  • Congrats! You just won the internet! :-))
  • I see what you did there, haha.
  • AWESOME Catch man!  Get this man a mug or something!! :D
  • You forgot your shades!
  • nice one...I actually lol'd at this. 
  • omg! OMG! YOU ARE ME HERO!!!!!!!
  • Lol
  • Hahahahaha !!!! You Are My GodDamn Hero ! Loooooool
  • lol nicely done!
  • *applause*
  • JGSERVICES, now that you've won the internets, what will you be doing next?
  • If you want to talk about ripping off WIndows Phone you should disucss Facebook Home....not this garbage.
  • We're working on that...we only have so many hands to type.
  • Their new slogan:
    "Facebook Home: Bringing what matters closer to you, ie your friends. And ads of course!"
  • Get more hands then, duh!
  • Facebook reintroduces Windows Phone's People hub with live tiles. Bypasses android approval process, eventually pisses off Google. Ballmer chuckles.
  • I don't think android has an approval process.
  • Nice!
  • Use Dragon.
  • VUS ro DAH
  • Why didn't they just make a Windows Phone if that is what they wanted to sell? 
  • Microsoft has standards so OEMs cannot just license the OS willy nilly, they must meet certain requirements. This company would surely fail ;)
  • by standards you mean they can't pay for the os or the specific qualcomm processors or something else coz MS shouls increase the phone manufacturers
  • Both hardware requirements and if the OEM makes quality devices. They don't want fly-by-night OEMs making shoddy hardware with "Windows Phone" on it. They only want quality OEMs to have it, which I respect.
  • I agree with you here. Have so many friends that have purchased a cheep Android phone only to discover it fails to work properly after 5 minutes of use.
  • Well Daniel, they just approved Karbonn at wmc.
  • Wow.
  • Would find very odd that Microsoft hasn't patented their OS design. If this is true, and Androids interface was changed to match WP8, well, Google can prepare themselves for a nasty legal battle which they'll obviously lose.
  • I think they do have a patent on live tiles.
  • India is not a good place to protect your patent. Also, Google is clean here because it's Karbonn who made the skin. Google is ingeniuous in devising the Android licensing scheme. The phone makers are the ones who got sued for IP infgringement.
  • True, but if the costs of infringement become too much then it isn't as profitable to pay a royalty for each Android...thus Google loses. The "free" OS costs more than licensing...which is the likely objective.
  • Tru Dat! India is only vaguely better than China these days. With no Constitutional protection for Inventors (unlike the US) the Government can manipulate the Patent system to overtly accomplish their Policy goals, which include encouraging home-grown rippoffs and Knock-off Companies.
    Of course, this did give us SuperBatMan! :D
  • yes they do have a patent on the live tile aspect of windows 8, and i beleive the design too (metro) also has patents attached to it.
  • You are a moron. Google cant be sued as this has nothing at all to do with Google. Karbon is using Android to make it look like the failure that is MetroUI, only god knows why you would want to imitate a ddisastrous failure of an OS, but regardless it has nothing to do with Google, genius. You Windows Phone fanboys all 6 of you, lol, are more ignorant than iphone fanboys, wow.
  • Bye, fandroid. Don't let the door hit you on your way out.
  • The trolls have enough time to cross the borders now. Is nothing sacred?
  • MS should issue a cease and desist purely because the poor experience will be associated with real WP devices and reflect negatively in the platform.
  • Preach brother
  • Indeed, time for Microsoft to shut down these idiots and their Karbonn crap.
  • Uhhhh... no it doesn't... the one with the windows logo is the real windows phone.... if they used the windows logo they'd be toast ( no pun intended )
  • What's the pun?  I don't see one.
  • Toast notifications duh!!  They will be notified via the "Please Don't Sue Me" APP with a status update that they are being sued from MS.   LOL!  I have no idea either.  Just helping the guy out.
  • Not sure myself either. May be toast notifications?
  • Of course! Hilarious set of comments today! :D
  • Maybe he makes his toast using the sunlight coming through the windows in his house. But hey, who knows...
  • No, it does not.
  • I actually saw the ad on TV first and was literally shocked. searched youtube to see if the video was available ..and ther it was officially posted by the firms youtube channel.. And bl###y bustards are so openly advertising a shitdoid device with WP screen :@
  • Hey I'm running the Windows 8 skin on my Nexus S.
  • The difference is your "skin" is user(developer) made & user installed. This is factory installed. I thought the new HTC "skin" was bad, but this takes the cake...
  • Welcome to India.
    Problem is they might get away with it.
  • Seriously being an Indian i literally curse these mobile OEMs like: Karbbon, Micromax, Lava, Xolo, etc. Bloody copy cats go die...!!!
  • Just curious if these phone are cheaper than the real deal? Isn't nokia releasing a real low cost lumia phone in india?
  • Yeah these phones are cheap as hell. You can get an S3 (retailing around ₹33000) clone for around ₹12000. The good news is that Nokia has covered every price range from ₹10000 to ₹35000 with Lumias.
  • Tell your Member of Parliament!
  • I'm pretty sure this isn't legitimate. Someone probably copy and pasted the wrong image for this flyer. If a company deliberately went out of its way to copy a well branded company like Microsoft, they're asking for trouble from infinite and beyond!
    Update: Wow! I thought this was a flyer, but it's actually a full blown television advertisement?! Unbelievable!!
  • yes..i think the same... the WP screen in the end is just not related.. i dont beleive they can produce such good looking skin on android...
  • As an Indian I apologise for the phone and the atrocious ad.
  • Why?
    Did you make this phone?
  • You don't need to apologize. You just need to tell your Government to shut down this crap.
  • WOW!  To bad for them it won't be as stable as WP.  It goes to show the impact Nokia and WP is having on India.
  • This ad confirms it. The day is not far when Windows Phone will be the one to rule them all!
  • "One OS to rule them all. One OS to find them. One OS to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them!" Wait a minute - that's Android's motto!
  • Well, then a future Windows Update, Frodo, might just kill it ;)
  • I think a drone attack is justified.
  • LOL
  • Here ... have my like. Take good care of it.
  • Harsh bro (I did "lol" though)!
  • Just make sure its one of those iOS controlled drones. No one will suspect us!
  • you really dunno anything outside your country right?? Drone attack on India??? go back to school before posting such immature comments..and take your friends too with you.. illiterate fcuk
  • LOL, tell our government to deploy the drones!!
  • What a shame :(
  • Is this the first time you're seeing a knock-off phone Daniel? Come to Pakistan I'll show you iPhones here for $50 and you'll have a hard time knowing the real from the fake.
  • iPhones are a different story ...
  • After using WinPhone, its hard to tell an iPhone from a $50 Feature Phone sometimes, isn't it :D
  • Pakistan zindabad. But all that must be Chinese stuff.
  • the SQ ads are so annoying whenever i see them on tv
    there was another karbonn phone like this in an ad with a guy with long hair deciding his haircut
    on another note MS should TOTALLY bag small companies like this to the wp club....the more the merrier
  • It will need a reboot every hour
  • It will do it automatically for you. You don't need to do anything
  • Here i am holding a Nokia 920 & seeing this is not only serious but blasphemous
  • Wankers ! Cheap nock off wankers get your own ideas lol
  • The commercial vaguely reminds me of the Lumia 900 commercial in the library. I'm usually not against Android skins but this pretty blatant from the company. Very mid range specs. ICS will run slow if not written decent. But you can't be upset at Android for a poor marketing decision a mfr makes. If anyone should be suing it should be HTC.
  • Google is behind this. Follow the money.
  • Proof?
  • I was going to say this is a marketing mistake, but it also shows up in the live product demo at about 2:46
    But it does not appear to be part of the OS, but rather just a lock screen image! who knows why they did that!.
  • I wonder if Nokia is steeling the show over there. People are getting accustomed to the WP8 so these aholes are trying to trick people in buying a knock off.
  • Weird ppl indeed
  • I think this is a late April Fools joke.
  • I'm Indian and the only Indian mobile phone manufacturer I've any respect for is Lava. All others have been ripping off mainly Nokia, BB and a few Samsung and SE designs right from the start while Lava usually went for their own designs and brought things like IPS displays to low end phones and recently the Intel Atom powered Xolos. Ericsson recently sued Micromax and I think more such intellectual property battles will be coming sooner.
  • What a blatant ripoff!!
    I don't know whats more shameful - The WP8 homescreen imitation or how they've lifted the design of the 8S !!
  • I beg your karbonn. Sue sue sue!!!
  • At least the Indian chick was sexy.
  • Surely this cant be legal ms will shut this down good and fast count on it.
  • I cringed when I saw the ad.
    I ****ing cringed. I never did that before.
  • same here...worst on indian television right now
  • Finally a good looking Android phone!
  • Let them know:
  • Next out is ios7...
  • I think this just amounts to bad photoshop/marketing skillz. They have an andoid physical home button on the first image and then the windows home key on the second image. And an HTC logo has been added to the bottom one as well.
  • Dude.. That is just the 8x.. Not the karbonn
  • The tech industry has no shame.  Too much copying and ripping off.  I hate how Samsung is copying (or is inspired by) "metro" with the S4, and supposedly Apple is in the process of going "flat" with their next iOS iteration.  There are some arguably unjust battles in the mobile "patent wars", but this is a clear case where MS better start going "thermonuclear" on competitors who copy metro and WP.  I wish that Jobs was still around to go thermonuclear against Android.
    Imagine an automotive manufacturer blatently copying the design of another company's car.  What goes on in the mobile tech world is no less outrageous.
  • +1000. Samsung from the get go has been known for "borrowing" ideas. And it takes them a few tries to finally get it right. I personally have not been a big fan of Samsung in general just by the way they do things.
  • Car designs are "inspired" all the time.
  • Worry not. Karbonn is a crappy company that makes crappy phones. And I don't think Microsoft would want them to join the Windows phone line. If this was to happen then it would have happened long time ago. And micromax would have also hopped on board.
  • LOL that only a screenshot of WP8 used as lock screen. Searched for an unboxing on YouTube and all was clear.
  • Android and Google for that matter are total sh!t
  • Wait till Chinese realize they can do this to Android. India and China don't get what copyrights are. iFone cell phones, Honga cars, and now Met-roid (Metro Android).
  • It simply have wp8 launcher.........nothing else
  • Can't really blame these countries TBH. Having their own brands to sell is one thing. Having other brands like Nokia / HTC / Axxle smartphones being sold as a premium (to them) is something a lot of people cannot afford. You don't get much exposure living there too so your ideas are limited. 
    Creating a knockoff at a cheap price is a dream come true for the not-so-fortunates in China and India.  If it doesn't really affect you I think we could just back off this issue. It's a never ending thing and something understandable as of why it happens.  No?
  • I'm currently in India so Ill check out what the fuss is! But anyway Microsoft and htc should look into this and sort it all out quickly. I've been in India for 6 days now and every single phone showroom has got big posters of the Lumia 920 which was recently released in India! Makes me happy that people are noticing the Lumia and I went to this store yesterday to purchase a wireless charger and I was the first customer who ordered it and the assistant didn't know how it worked (they had to show a trial) but luckily there was a Nokia Lumia rep there (who was wearing a nice yellow Lumia shirt) who helped her out! Now that saddens me. Well that's been my little rant now over to you
  • Feeble effort by Karbonn and Android gang to fight the incoming tsunami of reincarnated Nokia
  • Its just a wallpaper used by karbonn. But they keep showing it during IPL cricket matches prime time.
  • It's just a screenshot of a WP interface which has been set as the lock screen. Check out the video review here - At 3:37 he slides the lock screen across to reveal the Android home screen.
  • I actually looked this phone up on YouTube and the Windows Phone start screen seems to be some kind of lock screen and nothing more, the tiles seem to have no funciton, you simply slide it out of the way and it's all Android 4.x at the core with it's laggy UI.
  • Hi. Actually i saw this phone yesterday. The windows phone look is actually the lockscreen wallpaper only. The android skin used all over is 99% rip off of TouchWiz. Just wanted to tell you about it :-)
  • I strongly agree...
    This happens only in India
    this could only happen in India and no where else .. ;D  
  • Hi,
    It is actually a Launcher, Launcher 8 Pro ( and I am also using it on my CM Flare which is the Karboon A6 version in the Philippines.  I used HTC 7 Mozart before and just tried an Android just to compare but I am planning on getting a Lumia 920 or 925 this year.  I missed the Metro UI of WP and decided to find a launcher that does it on Google Play and Launcher 8 Pro is the answer. It has a Folder, a gallery which photo slideshow but you have to select images to be part of the slideshow and the People Hub which is the same in terms of the effects but it is bind to the Contact App as well as Email and other stuffs.  The tiles can be added to from the list of apps similar to the layout of WP but it tiles is different because it only gets the background color and attached on top the icon.   Android is too bloated and I like WP more than ever.

  • here's the link on my screenshot of the WP (Launcher 8 Pro) on my facebook.
  • Android is dying...
    Apple will die soon.
    WP will last a bit longer.