Online auctions are being monitored as this channel is increasingly used to sell unofficial and counterfeit handsets into the European marketplace. The primary target is for consumers wanting to acquire multimedia handsets and accessories with leading brand names--most notably the Nokia N95, but closely followed by the LG Viewty and Samsung F700. Analysis conducted by Netnames revealed that there were nearly 2,250 sellers of the Nokia N95, many of which were unofficially offering the product as unlocked. In addition, 10 per cent of the sellers were offering goods into the U.K. originating from Hong Kong and the USA--albeit in itself not a definitive sign of a fake product.
Jonathan Robinson, CEO of Netnames, said, "Too many consumers are unaware of the disreputable sources of counterfeit goods, particularly in the electronics space. The medium of online auction sites affords counterfeiters opportunities that would have been unimaginable fifteen years ago. Manufacturers--even if they decide not to act on the information--at least need to be aware of and monitor the counterfeiting of their goods."
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