After enduring an onslaught of bogus iPods for years, Apple has apparently finally had enough of the knockoffs and is calling in the big guns. Is the company siccing its battery of attack lawyers on the shady manufacturers? No, this time Apple is unleashing a more fearsome force: the company is warning retailers to stay away from the clones, and has provided them with a cheat sheet to help them identify counterfeits. Somehow, we suspect that most dealers already know the difference between real and fake iPods (here's a hint: the real ones don't arrive mysteriously at your back door in an unmarked box), and that this is really Apple's way of sending them a not-so-subtle message: if you want to sell the real ones, stop selling the fakes. Of course, retailers probably see higher margins from the fakes, so they might be torn, but we're betting that even a hint of the wrath of Steve will be enough to get most of them to shut that back door forever.

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Keepin' it real fake: Apple strikes back