Nokia: One out of five phones is a fake

One out of every five handsets sold in the global market is an unlicensed copycat cellphone, according to a senior Nokia (NYSE:NOK) executive.

"It is mostly China-originated, but it is global," Esko Aho, Nokia's executive vice president for corporate relations and responsibility, told Reuters. "It is not only in Asia, but also in Latin America and even in some parts of Europe."

According to ABI Research, the top 10 handset manufacturers in the world accounted for 81 percent of all handset shipment volumes in the third quarter. However, a host of no-name manufacturers also produce phones as well as knock-offs of popular models.

In March 2010, Nokia, the world's largest handset maker by volume, revised its 2009 global market share from 38 percent to 34 percent to account for the so-called "gray market" for cellphones. Research firm Gartner estimates that the gray market could be above 20 percent of all phones sold.

Nokia began changing the way it calculates market share, and in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Nokia said the new measurement more clearly outlines new entrants to the mobile phone market. "These include vendors of legitimate, as well as unlicensed and counterfeit, products with manufacturing facilities primarily centered around certain locations in Asia and other emerging markets," Nokia said at the time. 

For more:
- see this Reuters article

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