Of late the mobile phone market in Zimbabwe has been flooded with counterfeit models of all the well known brands like Sony, iPhone and Samsung.These are the brands which have the largest number of counterfeit phones on the Zimbabwean shelves.
These fake handsets have since made it possible for many to afford a smart phone and for many you will only notice how it is a counterfeit handset once you get to hold it.
By Marvelous Chibagidi
Some have bought these handsets fully aware of the fact that the product is fake but for some they were only tricked by the sellers and due to ignorance they never knew.
In an interview with TechnoMag a cellphone dealer along Mbuya Nehanda mentioned that ”We sell both fake and originals munhu anongotenga yaanokwanisa sister'(a person can buy what he or she can afford.”
The proliferation of counterfeits has major effects on the economy of any country. Not only does it minimise the country’s consumer genuine sales but it also denies and erodes the revenue potential that the Zimbabwean government would collect and inherently, leading to job losses.
Since fake mobile phones are not tested for compliance with industry safety standards, they are sometimes manufactured with harmful levels of dangerous elements such as lead. They usually have inoperable speakers, low-resolution camera and slow and old processors that result in poor network connectivity.
These are some of the things to consider before you decide to but the fake handsets. They have effects which are both economic and even health wise.
The impact of counterfeit and substandard goods, invariably, hurts the economy occasioning dwindling government revenues.For example the Tanzanian government, loses between 540 and 900 billion shillings per year due to tax evasions that are related to counterfeit and substandard goods and the pattern follows a similar trend throughout Africa. Counterfeit and substandard industrial products continue to flood the Tanzania’s domestic market.
Kenya loses about Kshs.30 billion annually due to trade in counterfeits.A counterfeiter causes the owner of the brand name to effectively lose a customer by misleading the customer into purchasing a counterfeit item (which is substandard in most cases) in the belief that he is purchasing the genuine article.
Counterfeit goods” or “pirated goods” or “offending goods” are in many cases used interchangeably and they mean goods that are the result of counterfeiting or piracy. Counterfeit products occur when the intellectual property rights (IPR) has been stolen. In other words, counterfeiting is stealing, the CTI says. “It is theft that needs concerted efforts by governments and the international community to reduce or eliminate.
On the other hand, counterfeits are substantially substandard products which fail to meet requirements of the relevant standard when tested using appropriate test methods.”So in other words those selling counterfeit phones are in another way stealing.
Counterfeit products originate mainly from Asian countries including China, India, United Arab Emirates (Dubai), Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore, Pakistan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Bahrain, Malaysia, Burma and Thailand. Chile, a South American country, also harbours notorious counterfeiters.
This is where the counterfeit products are coming from and this has caused a loss for many governments. Imagine the loss that our government is making from failing to tax thousands of these handsets. We sit and wait to see what our government will do so as to do away with this social ill.