Counterfeit Electronics

News and statistics about fake technology products and fake electronic goods. Data about the counterfeit electronics are collected from criminal justice programs, security agencies, safety officials and other public information sources.

Police in China broke up a counterfeit iPhone ring and reported that the cost to make a fake version was $313 (2,000 Chinese Yuan). The phone sellers would then sell the counterfeit mobile phone for $616 (4,000 Yuan).

The counterfeit versions had some parts that were authentic.

Source:  Kazunori Takada, “Fake iPhone ring busted in China: report,” Reuters, September 28, 2011.

Up to 300,000 counterfeit mobile phones are being used in Kenya in 2011, according to telecom officials. The is equal to one out of every five mobile phones in use within the country.

Source: Esther Mwang, “300,000 Kenyans using counterfeit handsets,” Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, August 22, 2011.

Counterfeit parts affected nearly 40 percent of the United States Department of Defense Supply Chain, according to a 2010 study by the US Commerce Department.

Source: Larry Shaughnessy, “U.S. wants China’s help in stopping counterfeit electronic parts,” CNN, June 15, 2011.


HP reported that 85,000 counterfeit items were seized in Dubai during the first quarter of 2011.

Source: Ghaisa Ghaibour, “Police deal with 198 fake cases in 4 months, 825,000 HP items seized,” Gulf Today, May 10, 2011.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized $4 Million worth of counterfeit electronic components in Fiscal Year 2009.

The counterfeited products were considered critical components used for defense systems and aircraft system, according to a press release by the Aerospace Industries Association.

Source: AIA, “AIA Issues Report on Counterfeit Parts and Threat to the Supply Chain,” PR Newswire, Press Release, March 16, 2011.

Computer and Printer manufacturer HP seized 900,000 counterfeit supplies in the United Arab Emirates in FY2009, double the 444,000 counterfeit parts seized in FY 2008.

Across the entire Middle East region, HP seized 2.4 Million counterfeit parts and supplies in 2009.

Source: Sam Smith, “Largest watchmaker ‘fed up’ with Gulf fakes,” Emirates 247, October 13, 2010.

In 2005, the US Commerce Department found 3,868 incidents of counterfeit electronic goods in the US Military. The majority of the incidents involved counterfeit computer chips that are used on fighter jets and airplanes.

In 2008, the number of counterfeit electronic incidents increased to 9,356.

Source: Steve Johnson, “Fake chips threaten military,” San Jose Mercury News, September 5, 2010.

From November 2007 through My 2010, the US Customs has seized 5.6 million counterfeit computer chips.

Source: Steve Johnson, “Fake chips threaten military,” San Jose Mercury News, September 5, 2010.

In Zhongguancun, known as China’s Silicon Valley, more than half of all GPS maps sold are believed to be pirated.

An authentic GPS using licensed data costs about $88, while a GPS using pirated data can be sold for $44.

Source: Zhang Hui, “More than half of GPS maps pirated,” Global Times, August 12, 2010.

An estimated 5 to 20 percent of electronic components in a supply chain is at risk of being counterfeit.

Source: Kris Sangani, “The global trade in counterfeit consumer electronics,” Engineering and Technology Magazine, May 10, 2010.