Fake and Counterfeit Mobile Phones Sold Around the World

A report by the Mobile Manufacturers Forum reported that 125 million substandard and counterfeit mobile phones were sold around the world in 2011. In 2012, the number of counterfeit phones sold increased to 148 million units.

The estimated amount for 2013 was projected to be 1.86 million units. Thus, up to 8 percent of all mobile devices sold worldwide in 2013 were substandard or counterfeits.

Over 20 percent of mobile phones sold in India is estimated to be counterfeits, according to the report.Many of the counterfeit phones sold in the India that were made in China were found to have high levels of lead. This is similar to a study conducted by researchers in Brazil who found that the five counterfeit phones that they tested all had lead and cadmium levels that were higher than EU regulations.

In Libya, up to 80 percent of the mobile phones for sale in the country were smuggled into the country and sold on the black market.

Source:  Rachel Feltman, “That fake iPhone is probably full of lead,” Quartz, February 6, 2014.