Counterfeit mobile phones a US$6 billion a year drain on global economy
4 February 2014
Black-market sales of counterfeit and substandard cellphones are a US$6 billion a year problem, a new in-depth report into the global counterfeit phone problem has found. The MMF's report is the most comprehensive analysis of counterfeit and substandard cell phones in the world to date and involves months of analysis by the world's major cellphone brands.
"Research estimates sales of around 148 million counterfeit or substandard cellphones in 2013 through visible retail sites, with many more expected via unofficial retail outlets, online auction websites and local black markets," Mobile Manufacturers Forum (MMF) Secretary General Michael Milligan said.
In India alone counterfeits make up more than 20% of the cellphone market, causing US$1.5 billion annually in lost sales, $85 million direct tax losses and $460 million indirect tax losses.
"Counterfeit phones are made with cheap sub-standard materials and have been shown to contain dangerous levels of metals and chemicals like Lead", Mr. Milligan said.
People often unknowingly purchase fake cellphone products on the internet when trying to find a cheaper price. The website www.spotafakephone.com helps identify and avoid potentially dangerous fake cellphones, batteries and chargers.
Some of the tell tail signs of fake cellphones are:
- IMEI Number. Genuine cellphones have unique serial numbers to register to a carrier network. Counterfeits often have duplicated or invalid IMEI numbers.
- Price. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
- Poor quality. Look for inaccurate printing, misspelled words, crooked label placement, signs of defective workmanship...
For more details:
Counterfeit/Substandard Mobile Phones - A Resource Guide for Governments http://www.mmfai.org/public/index.cfm?lang=eng