CES introduces to the world hundreds of new products, some good, some bad. But it also spawns a spike in counterfeiting, which is only bad.
OpSec Security, which specializes in anti-counterfeiting and brand protection, says that fake tablets are costing companies such as Motorola and Samsung big money. The black market is wrought with cheap—and also expensive—counterfeits. While most customers are naively deceived and actually want the real thing, some are simply seeking an affordable device and don't consider how they're damaging innovation and undermining the economy. They ought to think twice.
OpSec believes that a fake Xoom tablet listed for $399 on various ecommerce websites like Alibaba and TradeKey has cost Motorola well over $30 million in revenue. That's a substantial sum, yet not nearly as much as Samsung may have lost so far: the security firm estimates that the Korean manufacturer has been dealt a $70-million blow due to an abundance of fake Galaxy Tabs.
"Our analysis and experience in this market space point to the belief that tablet technologies are likely to be threatened by counterfeiters. Whether it's through clever manipulation of photos on auction sites or simply a 'too good to be true' bargain, many consumers may fall prey to these scammers if not properly educated," said Tom Taylor, president of brand protection at OpSec Security. "Given the number of new tablet technologies projected to debut at CES, it's likely we will see an uptick in counterfeit tablets within weeks of the show."
Consumers are strongly advised to be aware of counterfeit tech products, especially following major hype-up events like CES. Purchasers must buy from trusted, credible websites and are encouraged to double-check key points such as photos, warranty, features, and when possible the official model numbers.