Beware the fakes: OpSec says the number of counterfeit tablets will rise after CES

January 10, 2012

Examining the fake tablets listed on e-Commerce websites like Alibaba, DHgate, EC21, Made-in-China and TradeKey, OpSec Security found that listings for Motorola’s Xoom tablet contained an average of 85,000 units per month, while Samsung’s Galaxy Tab was also a target for counterfeiters.

OpSec claimed that numerous fake listings for the $399 Xoom is likely to have a severe impact on Motorola's business, with OpSec claiming that the availability of fake Xoom tablets is likely to have lost Motorola $33 million in revenue.

One such listing for the Xoom showed how consumers could get trapped by fake products, with this particularly listing offering the tablet for under $100. That said, further inspection did reveal that the product photos actually showing icons relating to Apple products.

OpSec said that counterfeit tablets have also hit Samsung and its Galaxy Tab, with the security firm estimating that the Korean manufacturer may have lost out on $69.6 million, owing again to the availability of fake Galaxy Tabs. OpSec also found fake listings for Archos tablets (26,000 on average each month) and for Amazon's Kindle.

"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."

OpSec has now handed out some advice on how to elude counterfeit products, warning that fake products will often be sold for a third or half the price of the real product. To eliminate this possibility, the company advises consumers to buy from a manufacturer or authorized reseller.

Furthermore, OpSec says that knowing the colors, features and size of the tablet will eliminate the chances of purchasing the fake, and advises that consumers look-up official model numbers. The company also strongly advises that consumers check to see if the tablet is covered by a warranty service.

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