Counterfeit Mobile Phones a US$6 Billion a Year Drain on Global Economy

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Black market sales of counterfeit and substandard cellphones are a USD6 billion a year problem a new in depth report into the global counterfeit phone problem has found.

The MMF's report is the most comprehensive analysis of counterfeit and substandard cell phones in the world to date and involves months of analysis by the world's major cellphone brands.

"Research estimates sales of around 148 million counterfeit or substandard cellphones in 2013 through visible retail sites, with many more expected via unofficial retail outlets, online auction websites and local black markets," Mobile Manufacturers Forum (MMF) Secretary General Michael Milligan said.

In India alone the MMF claims that counterfeits make up more than 20% of the cellphone market, causing USD1.5 billion annually in lost sales, $85 million direct tax losses and $460 million indirect tax losses.

"Counterfeit phones are made with cheap sub-standard materials and have been shown to contain dangerous levels of metals and chemicals like Lead," Mr. Milligan said.

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