Global Brands advise customers to stay away from fake phones
The sudden influx of fake mobile phones is a serious concern for the much known global brands like Sony and Nokia. During the past few years there has been a categorical rise in mobile users thereby increasing the demand of various types of mobiles. More customers are opting for these fake mobiles because they are cheap and look exactly like their original counterparts. Even new models are being faked and sold in the markets as soon as a new original is released. Leading mobile phone manufacturers are worried as this ‘fake’ phenomenon seems to be affecting the prices of the global brands.
Asia - a major source of fake phones
World renowned mobile phone manufacturers including Nokia, has identified Asia – more specifically China, as one of the main sources of fake phones. Hundreds of Chinese companies are churning out new models of ‘fake’ mobile phones day in and day out, which are in turn flooding the whole market. With the help of modern technology, even very small companies with as little as ten employees are creating new models of fake phones. In China, these are locally known as “shanzai” or black market cell phones. ‘Shanzai’ is a local term used to mean copied of faked products. The literal translation of ‘Shanzai’ is the ‘mountain village’, which means small factories producing low quality goods in South China. These tiny companies are trying to eat up the market share of the leading mobile phone manufacturers. The well known firm Gartner, in one of their recent research has revealed that thought, these companies are new in this field they account for twenty per cent of mobile sales in China. The market of ‘shanzai’ phones are growing at an alarming rate as they respond to the market very quickly. These fake phones are even illegally exported to countries like India, Russia, Middle East, Europe and even USA and UK.
Motivation behind manufacturing fake mobiles
Most of the industry experts opine that the motivation behind churning out fake mobile phones is trying to be ‘creative in the Chinese style.’ The industry received its inspiration from Mediatek, a company in Taiwan, which in 2005 designed a circuit board which would integrate multiple chips at a very low price. It made mobile production a relatively simple process and an inexpensive process. The too much dependability on pirated soft ware used for windows mobile and borrowed technology, experts believe that in future fake phone will not be able to deliver much.
Look alike of their original counterparts
At first glance, one wouldn’t be able to differentiate an original ipod from a fake one. The look and feel, the sleek lines and the colour are all too familiar. Surprisingly, even the logo at the back are copied ditto. Only upon very close inspection does one come to know that the phone he bought from the Chinese electronic goods market is not an Apple iphone but a ‘Hi phone’. The look and the design are so convincing that even original retailers and dealers are unable to distinguish the fake from the original ones. These Chinese companies have found an ever expanding market in UK and are trying to flood the UK market with huge quantity of fake phones.
Popular models of fake phones
The ever growing ‘shanzai’ market has responded quickly to the needs of the mobile users by quickly manufacturing fake version of all the new models. The top models, which have been faked, include Nokia E86, Nokia N 95, Nokia 8800, Nokia E91, Nokia E69 and also Nokia N87. Like the originals they come meticulously packed with a charger, headphones and an instruction manual. The only and the major difference is that these phones come without a warranty, cluttered and clunky software difficult to operate and low quality batteries which may explode anytime. The fake versions do not adhere to any safety standards of the industry. The global brands have been warning mobile users about the dangers of buying a fake model. In China, recently a 45 year old man was severely injured as his fake mobile phone exploded violently causing serious burns.
How will you identify a fake phone?
Watch out when you are buying a new mobile. You may be fooled by the retailer or the seller by a useless fake phone. Check the spelling of the brand name. The name is deliberately misspelled in the fake phones using the same font but a wrong spelling. ‘Nokia’ may be written as ‘Nckia’- where ‘o’ and ‘c’ look very similar. These phones do not support English language. These fake phones of the same make and model come in different sizes and shapes. Prices are very low. You can get a good iphone copy for only Aus$80. The prices are unbelievingly low.
Can ‘Shanzai’ be stopped?
The Chinese government is increasingly being pressured by the leading mobile manufacturers of the world to adopt stringent measures to stop this proliferation of fake phones. It is forcing the global players to turn down their price, thereby incurring loss. Even the legal local mobile manufacturers are opposed to the faking of mobiles as they are also incurring heavy losses. Underground companies who manufacture fake mobiles reap heavy profit as they can evade taxes and the heavy cost of infrastructure. The decentralised nature of the ‘shanzai’ makes the task of policing very difficult. These fake phone manufacturing factories are mostly clustered in the southern regions of China. They have less number of employees who work in back shops or even from houses. They are easily smuggles across the borders to other countries avoiding any kind of taxes, safety checks and bypassing government rules and regulations. Pirated softwares are used for these phones allowing the manufacturers to earn a decent profit.
UK market has been flooded with these fake mobiles. As a measure to prevent the customers from using these mobile phones, countries like UK, USA and Australia are devising ways to de-link these fake phones from connecting to the country’s existing mobile network. As well as fake phones it is also possible to get fake id on the internet. Such stringent measure would hopefully curb and restrict the use of these fake mobile phones.