Globally there’s been a pretty intense fight against counterfeit devices making their way into the hands of consumers and it seems Pakistan is taking this battle more seriously than most as the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has started arresting shopkeepers and users involved in fake registrations.
Culprits found guilty will be sentenced to a maximum of 7 years in order to discourage the use of insecure counterfeit devices. Last year, we wrote about Qualcomm’s mission to make it impossible to sell fake phones.
Why the war on fake phones?
Well, counterfeit devices can come with preinstalled malware and exploits since they can’t be accounted for. The devices could also cause physical harm since they don’t adhere to physical standards that devices from known manufacturers have to go through. Fake devices can also be assigned invalid or duplicate IMEI’s. The list goes on and on.
If the move in Pakistan is actually enforced as they propose, it will no doubt have an impact on consumers and sellers, who’ll think twice before buying or selling a counterfeit phone.
The devices are popular for a reason
Whilst this is a noble initiative for the most part, it doesn’t take into account the fact that these fake devices are popular because they are cheaper and thus more accessible than some of the devices that meet international standards.
In developing countries, most consumers who are fighting to get above the poverty line aren’t too concerned about what malware might be in their phones or whether or not the device is safe. They just something that works for as low a cost as possible, so it will be interesting to see how Qualcomm and international governments in these countries will get around that.
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