Two days ago, someone brought a phone to me to help configure for internet access. We had chatted earlier and he mentioned that the phone was a Samsung Galaxy S III. However, when I gave him instructions on how to configure it, he couldn’t find his way through. So, we agreed that I would have a look. You can imagine my feelings when I first saw the device. Take a look:
Note that the label says “Galxay”, not Galaxy. Of course, the design and shape told me immediately that this was not the authentic item. Here was a clone, pure and simple. It also felt significantly heavier than the Nokia 808 PureView, which I had in hand then. The authentic S III is way lighter than the 808.
There’s even a pull-down notification bar, Android-style, but with a different look and feel. As a matter of fact, immediately I touched the display and felt the poor quality, that was it. No doubt about it; this was a clone. Probably Chinese.
Of course, when I dug into the Settings menu, it was nowhere near Android in any way. Oh, plus this Galxay i9300 is GPRS only. Oh, yes. Not even EDGE is present. Buhahahaha!
Multi-tasking? No where to be found either. And it is dual-SIM too. I’m betting that you already saw the two phone icons on the horizontal top bar; right?
The Scourge Of Clones
The problem of fake mobiles has been with us for years. Get stuck in traffic at Opebi or Ojota and almost any major road in Lagos, and someone will walk up to you to offer you a phone looking every inch like a Nokia N8. But don’t be fooled. It isn’t. Usually, the price should be a give-away, but sometimes people don’t quite seem to understand the saying, “If it sounds too good to be true, it is not true.”
How can this problem be tackled? What can manufacturers do to prevent people from pushing these clones in the market? What is government’s role in that as well?
I asked how much this “Samsung Galxay i9300? was purchased. The reply: N10,000. There you go. If you don’t have N90,000 to splurge on the real Samsung Galaxy S III, but want to live in a fool’s paradise, with just N10,000, you can have the dual-SIM Galxay I9300.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.