Chinese smartphone users and enthusiasts alike all know how easy it is to get their hands on the “latest” device for much cheaper than the original manufacturer intended. This isn’t some back-alley black market shady deal though, this is the work of a very sophisticated cottage industry that’s popped up with the rise of smartphones. It’s the cloning industry and it’s bigger than ever thanks to the swath of inexpensive and relatively fast chipsets out there that allow these companies to offer a phone that looks almost identical to the real thing but comes up a little short on features or performance. This market is undercutting big manufacturers like LG, Samsung and even plenty of Chinese manufacturers like Xiaomi by offering competent phones at unbelievably low prices.
The cloning industry spans a number of different sectors though, from the legitimate ones like the NO.1 Mi4 which aim to look like a competitor’s phone while still being marketed as a separate device, to ones that flat out illegally operate under the same company name and even sell products that look and are named identically but don’t measure up in any way. These companies are out to get a quick buck from unsuspecting consumers, and it’s these types of groups that Chinese Authorities are looking to put a stop to. LG has come to an agreement with the Chinese government and are helping authorities pick out which LG G3 devices are the real deal and which ones are as fake as can be.
Some times these clones can be easily spotted and sometimes they are nearly impossible to tell unless you use them and are familiar with the features and software of the original device. For instance there are already Galaxy S6 clones out there but they don’t use a glass back; a dead giveaway that the manufacturing process of these clones is far cheaper than the quality devices Samsung is producing. LG’s partnership with Chinese officials is a landmark one that spells hope for consumers who have gotten swindled in the past by these charlatans of the smartphone market and could be a significant breakthrough in cracking down on an industry that’s simply gotten out of hand. Below you can see one of these LG G3 knockoffs and how similar they really look, even down to the circuit boards.