India Today investigation reveals Delhi’s blossoming counterfeit smartphone markets


A special investigation by India Today uncovered a bustling counterfeit smartphone industry emerging in the heart of New Delhi.

They discovered “small-time technicians” assembling counterfeit iPhones using smuggled components. One technician bragged that he could assemble up to 50 iPhones in a single day.

“It takes 5-10 minutes for one device”

The fake iPhones were then sold to unsuspecting customers looking for a bargain. As we learned from analyzing our own counterfeit devices, the dangers that lie within such smartphones are worthy of concern.

An iPhone 6S would cost Rs 11,000, around €140/$154. Other similar stores offer the Samsung Galaxy S9 and and iPhone XS Max at hugely discounted prices.

“No one would come to know that they are fake”

One seller claimed that “only someone dangerously tech-savvy would be able to detect that the phone is a replica.”

Nehru Place, a large commercial, financial, and business centre in Delhi, was placed on the US’ Trade Representative’s list of notorious markets in 2015. It appears this decision was warranted.

Within a month of Apple’s latest release – the iPhone 11 – markets in Delhi were offering counterfeits for around €190/$210. With the official retail price as much as 6 times higher, the appeal is obvious.

Contrary to the impressive counterfeits we bought online, the finish quality of the smartphones India Today discovered wasn’t close to the genuine articles. They recommend consumers check for additional markings on the case, and a rough case texture.


However, it’s unlikely these discrepancies would deter the purchase when such a huge discount is offered, whether or not the buyer is aware the devices are counterfeits.

Below is the video from India Today. It confirms that counterfeit smartphones are a growing problem worldwide, and enterprises, regulators and consumers themselves should be wary of their spread.

Image and video from

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