One of the agencies we work with in China alerted us to a great story in the New York Times this week about the incredible level of mobile phone counterfeiting. And more importantly the costs of production. Although the sellers claim they are just as good as the real thing it is obvious they are being built for those users for which the high-end phones from our friends at Apple, Nokia and Samsung are just too pricey.
Apparently the factory production costs are around $40 for the fake, selling to users for 3 to 4 times that. The amazing thing is they claim that a business with 5 people is all that’s needed to develop the modern SOC-based handsets (albeit copied) from scratch.
No your new mobile won’t meet emissions regulations, won’t work exactly the same as the real thing, won’t function with accessories quite the same, may not pass a good impact test, won’t have the right logo on it (quite) and might set fire to your jacket one day but on the up-side; it may operate with two SIM cards or have a telephoto lens installed on its camera.
The competition may be short-lived in China as the key brands are already dropping prices to reduce demand for fake handsets. Trendy new home-grown brands are emerging now to fill the I-want-one-of-those void.
OK can someone clone me a Porsche 944S2 please, that has to be easier to copy than an iPhone and I’ll pay more.