Electronic Knock Offs

With people constantly clamouring for iPhones, iPods and Playstations, it is easy to see that the electronic industry is a real cash cow. Inevitably, this excessive consumer demand is acknowledged around the world, and knock off products are born.

Knock offs tend to look eerily similar to the originals, complete with only slightly altered logos. Some big name companies, such as LG or Samsung, simply release their own knockoff versions of a product craze and hope to catch some of the sales.

Many electronic knock offs come in the form of cheap, low quality items. Most are made outside of the U.S., particularly in Asia. Although much less expensive than the originals, these products usually function at a much lower level, if at all. For example, the real Sony Playstation has a CD drive for its games, while the knock off, Polystation, plays only cartridge games. Other examples of video game console knock offs are Vii (knock off of Nintendo Wii) and PX-3600 (knock off of Sony Playstation and Microsoft X-Box).

Electronic products most commonly copied include cell phones, MP3 players and video game consoles.

Clone Cell Phones

Major cell phone companies need to keep up with their competitors if they want to continue their success. As a result, many of them make phones that replicate features of their competitors’ most popular products.

For example, as soon as one company comes out with a phone that plays digital music, competitors scramble to release phones that do the same thing. The same goes for physical components such as a full keyboard or even a slim physique. However, the real knock offs are the ones that copy very distinct attributes of popular phone models in an attempt to pass as the real thing.

The iPhone is an excellent example of a product that launched copy-fever. Knock offs were coming out even before the iPhone was released. The Meizu miniOneline, Deeda “Pi” and CECT P168 are all examples of iPhone clones. As expected, these clones are less expensive and do not function as well as the real iPhone. Other cell phone brand names that are also commonly copied are Nokia and Sony Ericsson.

Even though more profit seems to be the goal of selling cheap clone cell phones, not all knock offs are made to be cheaper versions of the originals. Prada and LG have teamed up to make what is essentially an iPhone knock off, but it actually costs more than the iPhone.

How to Identify Counterfeit Electronics

Counterfeit electronics and shoddy knock offs are sometimes more difficult to identify than designer knock off handbags, for example, because their essential flaws cannot be seen with just a quick glance.

However, you can look for a few key factors to avoid buying a counterfeit or poor-functioning knock off. First, look at the price. If it is significantly lower than the original manufacturer’s suggested retail price, it is probably counterfeit. If buying online, always look for trusted sellers, such as official Web site of the items you want to buy. Many fakes are made in China and other Asian countries, so be wary of big name brand products shipped directly from these places.

Another indicator of possible counterfeit products is the packaging. Misspelled or incorrect logos and damaged boxes are telltale signs the product is most likely fake.