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Infographic: Fake Electronics Fool Consumers

In the electronics industry and across the supply chain, counterfeit components are a hot topic as organizations struggle to make sure the components they are using as they manufacture electronic devices are the real deal. The problem of counterfeiting, though, has proven ubiquitous, and counterfeit electronic gadgets have become a reality.

A 2013 Anti-Counterfeit Study commissioned by Canon USA found that, though the reality of counterfeit goods is high, consumer awareness remains low. “Most American consumers are unaware of the full risks associated with these potentially dangerous devices,” Chuck Westfall, technical adviser in Canon USA's professional engineering and solutions division, said in a press release. “Four in ten of the U.S. consumers surveyed don't know counterfeit consumer electronics can harm them, and this lack of awareness leads to what Canon calls a 'Confidence Trap.'”

Designer goods, such as handbags or clothes, are well known for being potentially faked, but users are less aware of the same problem with their cameras, PCs, and other electronics purchases. High-tech products were well represented on a USA Today list of most counterfeited products in the US. Computers and accessories and consumer electronics accounted for 11% of seized goods, USA Today found. Last year, US officials seized $145 million of counterfeit consumer electronics entering the country, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The infographic below summarizes the results of the Canon USA survey. Let's talk about the role that electronics OEMs, distributors, and contract manufacturers should be taking in addressing the issue of counterfeit electronic goods.

— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN Circle me on Google+ Follow me on Twitter Visit my LinkedIn page Friend me on Facebook

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19 comments on “Infographic: Fake Electronics Fool Consumers

  1. SP
    October 17, 2014

    Counterfeit has been a sustaining problem in electronics industry. Its the people who have to stand against it. If the people say No to counterfeit components and products, there wont be that market. Otherwise as long as it gets sold it would keep emerging in the market.

  2. Anand
    October 17, 2014

    People buy counterfeit goods because they are marketed ingeniously, often giving the impression to the customer that these goods are as good as original (the goods  itself may carry fake tags) and therefore this market needs to be stopped to ensure that customers don't get harassed. The goods bearking fake names are bought by customers thinking that they are real ones and when they break down the people who bought them blame the real company.

  3. Anand
    October 17, 2014

    Such products have to be stopped from being shipped inside the States. Better trading laws have to be enforced to ensure that counterfeit goods do not enter the electronics marketplace. It easily tarnishes reputation of the companies and people alike.

  4. FLYINGSCOT
    October 17, 2014

    Some fake goods are easy to spot and others not so.  I worry about fake high tech products as I am not sure the average Joe could tell the difference sometimes. I know I struggle sometimes.

  5. FLYINGSCOT
    October 17, 2014

    Some fake goods are easy to spot and others not so.  I worry about fake high tech products as I am not sure the average Joe could tell the difference sometimes. I know I struggle sometimes.

  6. Adeniji Kayode
    October 18, 2014

    @sp, You are right on that, I guess you meant “consumers” are the ones to stop counterfeit because counterfeits are made by people but if consumers would say NO, it will cub the consequences of using counterfeit stuffs in the society

  7. Adeniji Kayode
    October 18, 2014

    @ anandvy, It is not in all cases that counterfeit carries same names as the original, but one thing is sure about it and that is its mostly cheaper than the original

  8. Adeniji Kayode
    October 18, 2014

    @anandvy, Some counterfeit goods are hard to identify, except you are well informed about it, you may nerver be able to differentiate them. Moreover, some counterfeit goods are smuggled in one way or the other.

  9. Adeniji Kayode
    October 18, 2014

    @flyinscot, I feel consumers need to be educated and orientated about counterfeits. This can be done by companies that noticed that their products have been intimated and also by the Government.

  10. Daniel
    October 20, 2014

    “A 2013 Anti-Counterfeit Study commissioned by Canon USA found that, though the reality of counterfeit goods is high, consumer awareness remains low. “Most American consumers are unaware of the full risks associated with these potentially dangerous devices,””

    Hailey, eventhough they aware about this, the end customers can't do anything; because the precautions are taken care from the point where components are sourcing.

  11. Daniel
    October 20, 2014

    “I feel consumers need to be educated and orientated about counterfeits. This can be done by companies that noticed that their products have been intimated and also by the Government.”

    Adeniji, consumers are end users and they won't act because they invested for the device/machine by outright purchase. All necessary measures has to e taken care from the sourcing point at the assembling point.

  12. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    October 20, 2014

    @anandvy, the important thing to remember “If a deal seems to good to be true, it probably is.”

  13. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    October 20, 2014

    I read an article that said that many of the products from Alibaba are counterfeit. This highlights for me that reality that even a known source can be part of the counterfeiting problem. From CNN:

    “Alibaba has been on a mission to rid its virtual shopping malls of counterfeit goods as it cleans house before a massive initial public offering. But industry experts and company executives say that fakes still flourish on Alibaba's popular platforms — Taobao, Tmall, AliExpress, Alibaba.com — and insist the company must do more to crack down on unscrupulous sellers.”

  14. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    October 20, 2014

    @Jacob, I”m less optimistic. Especially in electronics, the average user isn't very technical and so they wouldn't know one product from another. Those of us hanging out in the technology world forget how much we know about this stuff compared to the average person.

  15. Daniel
    October 21, 2014

    “I”m less optimistic. Especially in electronics, the average user isn't very technical and so they wouldn't know one product from another. Those of us hanging out in the technology world forget how much we know about this stuff compared to the average person.”

    Hailey, I meant exactly the same. End users are bothered only about certain parameters like functionality, finish, features, quality etc.

  16. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    October 21, 2014

    @Jacob, then let's agree to agree. 🙂

  17. Daniel
    October 21, 2014

    “then let's agree to agree. :)”

    Hailey, agreed 🙂 🙂

  18. t.alex
    October 31, 2014

    There are numbers of fake electronics good make in China flow around in Asia more than in U.S. People got fool and used low quality product. In the U.S. regulations are stricter than the rest of the Asia therefore we have better quality electronics.

  19. Adeniji Kayode
    November 2, 2014

    Africa seems to beone of the major market for fake electronic goods and that may be traced to less strict regulations on imported goods from China

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