Nokia, the world’s number one manufacturer of mobile devices by market share, has adopted a hard line policy with its authorised distributors and retailers, in a bid to protect unsuspecting buyers from the hazards of fake devices.
In order to check the menace of counterfeit products, the mobile devices company says it is currently working through a dedicated field force to monitor which outlets are selling imitation products.
Nokia adds that culpable retailers can be penalised by not receiving rebates, incentives and market support, as well as lose their license as Nokia authorised dealers.
Meanwhile, Nokia’s Head of Government Affairs and Business Environment, Jussi Hinkkanen says, though Nokia abhors the apparent menace of the counterfeit products, the job of effectively addressing the negative trend rests squarely on regulatory agencies. He said a good way for consumers to ensure that they are purchasing the genuine devices is to patronise genuine Nokia outlets.
According to Hinkkanen, “it is important for consumers to understand the risks of buying counterfeit mobile phones, which in spite of their poor quality offer the consumer no recourse in terms of warranty or after sales service.”
He said the counterfeit devices can be harmful because there is no standardisation of the materials used to produce them. All these, he said, places the unsuspecting consumer at a high risk.
However, Nokia has declared that contrary to the general impression that all mobile devices manufactured in China are substandard, this is far from the truth.
This statement was made by the company’s Director of Communications in Greater China and Korea, Louise Ingram, during a media tour of Nokia’s manufacturing facility in China recently.
Ingram stressed that the phones produced at the China plant, which is one of Nokia’s nine manufacturing facilities across the world, undergo the same stringent quality controls and tests that have made Nokia the world’s leading brand in mobile devices.
The Nokia executive was nonetheless quick to add that many counterfeit phones are indeed produced in China and described the act as a global criminal activity that affects many successful consumer product companies in a wide range of industries, of which Nokia is no exception.
“Wherever it exists, counterfeiting damages local economies and negatively affects people with legitimate jobs in the supply chain,” Ingram said.
For now, beyond its leadership status as a manufacturer of devices, Nokia is fast becoming a leading solutions provider in the converging Internet and communications industries, providing internet services that enable users to experience media, messaging, maps and games.
Further, Nokia is integrating its devices with innovative services through Ovi, including music, maps, apps, email and more. It’s NAVTEQ is a leader in comprehensive digital mapping and navigation services, while Nokia Siemens Networks provides equipment, services and solutions for communications networks globally.
By Edmund Smith-Asante