Counterfeit goods have become an increasingly worrying problem in South Africa. Not only is the clothing industry suffering under the scourge of counterfeit goods but the Electronics industry has also been under fire1. Consumers who purchase a smartphone device from unauthorised dealers are at risk of losing out financially, as there are limited options they can resort to should they subsequently discover that the device is faulty.
Richard Chetty, service director at Samsung Electronics South Africa, says, “Samsung is committed to providing its customers with the best service, with regards to solutions and devices, which is reflected in the quality of after-sales service, customer and technical support. The problem facing consumers who do not purchase their device at a Samsung approved dealer, is that there are no consumer care or repair options available to support any of the device components, or any way of being compensated if the product turns out to be a counterfeit.”
“If the purchase price is too good to be true, then it probably is. For example, if a Samsung Galaxy smartphone is found on sale at a much reduced price, we urge consumers to check with our customer care centres before purchasing the device, or else they may be left with a fake product”, says Chetty.
Examining the physical differences between an authentic Samsung smartphone and a counterfeit model can help identify an imitation phone. The Samsung logo on counterfeits is slightly raised, like a sticker. The screen will also appear a tad lighter than on a genuine device.
“A closer look at a genuine Samsung device will reveal sensors on the forward facing camera, which do not appear on the fake unit. When a genuine product is placed next to a fake one, a customer will easily recognise the lack of quality in the counterfeit version of the phone just by comparing the rear facing cameras,” adds Chetty.
Battery size is another obvious giveaway especially on the Samsung Galaxy S4. The genuine battery is much larger, has higher quality labels and well-designed positive and negative nodes. “The battery is probably the most important determinant of a fake device as it will impact how the device is charged,” warns Chetty. “The design of the battery compartment is very different with softer connectors on the genuine phone while the sticker displays the IMEI number clearly alongside the ICASA branding.”