Watchout For ‘Smart' Fake Phones

Mail Today|October 10, 2019

Watchout For ‘Smart' Fake Phones
Beware, if you are planning to buy a smartphone this Diwali! Delhi turning into a mobile phone forgery hub
Jamshed Khan and Nitin Jain in New Delhi

Their curved finish, default apps, fingerprint sensors and cameras look impressive. But looks can be deceptive. If you are planning to buy a smartphone this festival season, be wary of unauthorised vendors, more so if the device is offered at a tempting small fraction of the price.

India Today TV's Special Investigation Team (SIT) has unearthed a sprawling market of counterfeit mobile devices — large quantities of which are now faked in Delhi.

Remember, China's manufacturing hub of Shenzhen is infamous worldwide for its knock-off products.

But the SIT probe found that India's "jugaad" mechanics may now be giving the Chinese copycats a tough competition.


At Delhi's Nehru Place, one of South Asia's largest markets of electronic goods, computer hardware and software, smalltime technicians now assemble iPhones from smuggled parts at breakneck speed, the probe discovered.

Sagar, a manager and technician at Laptop Store in Nehru Place, promised to deliver 50 pieces of the iPhone's 6s model for Rs 11,000 a device, almost one-third of the original price.

"Has this been assembled here?" the SIT reporter probed.

"Yes, it's assembled here," confirmed Sagar, offering the fake merchandise in bulk.

"So how much will an assembled iPhone cost?" asked the journalist.

"You'll get it for Rs 11,000. No negotiation," the store manager replied.

Sagar also gave the SIT a demonstration of his counterfeiting skills as he pried opened a handset bearing the Apple logo.

The Nehru Place technician then explained how the smuggled parts are put together.


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October 10, 2019