Trade of Imitative Phones in the Emirates

With several smart phone brands reigning on the market, it is the desire of most youth to acquire the best and classy mobile phone. Most often the qualities consumers look for are the version of the operating system, camera quality, lasting battery, internal memory capacity, and size/weight of the phone.

With Samsung, iPhone and Blackberry being some of the world’s favorite and once super reigning phones, scammers are taking advantage to trade imitated phones to customers who want quality products at affordable prices.

The case is soaring in Ajman and Sharjah. Shops that trade mobile phones are continuously having imitated smart phones on their shelf.  In Sharjah, where responsible departments have already confiscated a huge quantity of inferior products right before the recent Eid, the Customer Service and Inspection Department of the Municipality of Sharjah has mentioned that they are existing strategies to phase out this rising era of imitated and forgery products. The department’s director is sure to be working with the Economic and Customs Department for the purpose of eradicating the trade of forgery and inferior (quality) products.  In a pre-Eid inspection by authoritative bodies at mobile phone shops known to be trading inferior and imitated phones, inspectors confiscated quiet a number of imitated phones.

As many of these products comes through the ports of the emirates, the Sharjah Ports and Customs Authority (SPCA) have also taken a step as stakeholders to ensure the economic growth of the emirate rather than being transitioned into an inferior product hub. The SPCA has announced their inspectors are already working towards all imported goods to ensure quality and originality. They have also commenced a joint mechanism with the private sector, international firms and manufacturing brands, and public sectors – traders, to enhance transparency and a driving force to help curb the situation.

Eye witness says that periodically, people enter into phone shops to offer them smart phones at cheap prices which is likely to convince the shop management to purchase from them rather than visiting accredited retail stores. Additionally, shop management has also mentioned that customers (mostly immigrants) sometimes show desire to purchase a particular smart phone but are limited by financial constraints. This also adds up to the decision of mobile phone vendors to take in some clever imitated smart phones.

Unfortunately, an imitated phone cannot have the exact quality of a genuine smart phone. Though producers do their best to provide a perfect exterior design which matches the original phones, they cannot do same with the operating system and other unique features. Genuine Samsung, Sony, Blackberry and iPhone smart mobiles are designed with special features – example their respective app store and Blackberry Messenger (BBM), some applications are only available on iPhone operating system and vice versa. Aside Samsung, which is known to produce genuine double sim smart phones, Blackberry and iPhone does not. The imitated Blackberry phones on market however sometimes comes with a double sim and also no BBM.

Despite this clear symptoms to show ingenuity of the products, some people especially, workingmen and manual laborers within the commercial and industrial area are interested in purchasing these phones – due to the pride attached to the usage of these phones.

In Ajman, officials says there were no complains or tip-off from anyone. They assured that if such complaints were made, then they would not rest until such traders were taken off the market. Even with that, the Ajman Municipality have operationalized some frequent inspections at areas where they suspect fake smart phone sellers are operating. The Ajman Municipality has also affirmed their effort to eradicate the trade of inferior products within the region.