Fake handset producers take a huge bite out of mobile manufacturers' profits.
Their rarity in the West might make them something of a novelty news item for us, but according to Nokia - the world's top producer of mobile phones - unlicensed Chinese tinkerers are robbing legitimate mobile makers of a whopping fifth of the world market with their counterfeit handsets.
"It is mostly China-originated [sic]", said a Nokia executive, "but it is global. It is not only in Asia, but also Latin America and even in some parts of Europe".
The 20% market share now held by the producers of the cheap knock-offs is in no small part down to their ability to rush a fake lookalike product to market sometimes just weeks after the genuine article's announcement. As we saw with our current top bit of tech tat, the "iPed", getting the look right and the product to market first matters a lot more than worrying about, say, running the correct operating system.