Monday, 17 June 2019

Deadly shocks and nasty burns from counterfeit mobile devices prompts warning from mobile makers

Fake iPhoneMobile phone manufacturers have appealed to consumers to use only genuine certified mobile devices, batteries and chargers after reports emerged of the death of a Chinese woman allegedly electrocuted while using a fake iPhone charger.


The tragic death has come after a spate of recent serious injuries caused by counterfeit mobile phone products including a young Swiss woman who suffered severe burns to her leg from a counterfeit Samsung battery that exploded in her pocket.
“Counterfeits are not tested to comply with the strict safety certifications that genuine mobile phone products must adhere to and are often made from cheap components that can short circuit or overheat and catch fire,” Michael Milligan, Secretary General of the Mobile Manufacturers Forum said.
“Genuine mobile phones have important elements such as safety circuits and have been designed and tested to ensure compliance with international safety standards.”
“One of the key benefits of buying a genuine phone is that we can guarantee the handset meets the relevant standards and certifications to ensure a phone’s genuine battery can be charged safely and won’t overheat, cause fires or electric shocks.”
“We encourage consumers to visit the ‘Spot a Fake Phone’ website to learn how to identify and avoid fake and substandard mobile phone products.”
The warning comes after a Chinese flight attendant killed by an electric shock while using her mobile phone was reportedly using what appeared to be a fake iPhone 4 charger at the time of her death, Chinese state media CCTV and the South China Morning Post reported in July.
Also earlier in July, a smartphone explosion which severely burnt the leg of an 18-year old girl in Switzerland was found to be caused by a faulty third-party battery being used in the device.
According to the Swiss paper Le Matin, Samsung examined the damaged phone and said: “The battery used in the device was not supplied or manufactured by Samsung or a company authorized by Samsung.”
Apple recently announced a worldwide trade-in program to allow consumers to exchange counterfeit or third party chargers for certified Apple models for the local equivalent of $US10,
In July, the Sydney Morning Herald and other media reported a 28-year-old Sydney woman was taken to hospital after suffering a shock from her iPhone. Ambulance NSW later confirmed the reports were incorrect and no mobile phone was involved in the incident.
Mr Milligan said consumers often unknowingly purchase fake or sub-standard mobile phone products on the internet when trying to find a cheaper price.
“Shoppers need to be careful when searching on the internet for a new mobile phone or replacement parts because most counterfeits steal the designs and trademarks of genuine products to deliberately deceive consumers,” Mr Milligan said.
“Other sub-standard fakes may not infringe copyright and appear to be legitimate competition to genuine models, but they are often produced without government approval, testing or certification and can quickly break down with potentially dangerous consequences.”
The website explains the tell tail signs of counterfeit mobile phone products, such as:
  • Price. If the price sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
  • Poor quality. Look for inaccurate printing, misspelled words, crooked label placement and signs of defective workmanship.
  • No warranty. All genuine mobile phone manufacturers offer a limited warranty that covers the handset, software and accessories. Most black market products don’t.
  • Product description. Look out for words like “Replacement battery for…" or "Charger compatible with…”. Genuine products tend to only state which model handset the product is for.
To avoid buying counterfeits consumers should always buy mobile phone products made by certified manufacturers and sold by trusted retailers.
Check your user manual to make sure you only use the appropriate replacement battery or charger that is compatible with your model of phone.
Published 6 November 2013

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