Fake handsets threaten mobile majors in India

By SiliconIndia   |   Saturday, 27 September 2008, 04:47 Hrs
Printer Print Email Email
Mumbai: The increasing number of fake handsets in the Indian market is posing a serious threat to Mobile phone majors, resulting in a considerable annual loss. While a fake of Sony Ericsson W960 is available as Soni Ericsson W960, a dupe of N95 is doing rounds in the name of N95 'g', reports The Economic Times.

Over a million fake handsets are being sold in India every month. Due to this recent trend, branded mobile makers including Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Samsung, could be losing a whopping Rs 400 crore to duplicates, resulting in an annual loss of over Rs 4,800 crore, according to the Indian Cellular Association (ICA), the representative body of mobile manufacturers, distributors and retailers.

Apart from duplicate phones, fakes of batteries, earphones and chargers are also available in plenty in India, affecting the market share of original ones. The sale is done through not only local mobile phone shops but also some specialized retail chains, who stock them discreetly.

Sourced from China and Taiwan, these duplicates don't have even half the features that they proclaim. Model name and numbering on handsets are almost similar to that of the established players.

"A large chunk of duplicate handsets are being sold in small towns. The pricing is less than that of the originals. They also claim to have features that are actually not present in the handset. So customers end up being duped," ICA President Pankaj Mahindroo told ET.

India is adding over nine-million wireless subscribers every month. Buyers in tier II towns and villages, who are driving the current wave of subscriber addition, are falling easy prey to duplicates because of lack of awareness as well as lower prices.

Every genuine handset has an international mobile equipment identity (IMEI) number, which is unique. It is printed on the phone underneath the battery and is used by the GSM network to identify valid devices. However duplicate phones are sold without an IMEI number and without a bill and warranty. Further, they don't have the ICA hologram, which stands for quality and reliability.

Google's Gboard gets offline
Google is adding an Artificially Intelligent (AI) offline dictation feature on its Gboard keyb..
Facebook denies cyber attack
Facebook ruled out a cyber attack on its products Whatsapp, Instagram and Messenger, which suf..
Wipro opens third industrial
IT major Wipro Ltd on Thursday opened its centre of excellence for Industrial Internet of Things (..
IBM announces programme
n a bid to recognise the contribution of developers in the open source community, Information ..