AnTuTu recently published its latest yearly report focused on smartphone clones and according to its data, Samsung was the most cloned brand in the world throughout 2017, followed by Apple and Xiaomi, in that order. According to the source, roughly 17.42 million smartphones were benchmarked by AnTuTu from January until December of last year, and of all of these smartphones, 2.64 percent were clones. Furthermore, 36.23 percent of all clones were striving to imitate Samsung’ Galaxy-branded handsets, while only 7.72 percent were copying Apple’s iPhones.
The study doesn't use the term ‘clone’ to describe legitimate smartphones inspired by more popular device while still being offered under their own brands. In other words, the report doesn’t consider smartphones like the BLUBOO X a clone of the Apple iPhone X, and instead, the term ‘clone’ is reserved for shady smartphones that are attempting to trick consumers into thinking they're something they're not while violating a wide variety of international copyright laws in the process of doing so. AnTuTu’s report suggests that Samsung has been the brand of choice for smartphone clones throughout 2017, surpassing Apple, Xiaomi, Huawei, and OPPO combined. Xiaomi was identified as the third most cloned smartphone brand, with 4.75 percent of all shady devices being classified as copycats of its products, followed by OPPO with 4.46 percent and Huawei with 3.40 percent.
As for which smartphone models have been subjected to cloning the most, the European model of the Galaxy S7 Edge takes the lead with 4.94 percent of all clones, followed by the Chinese variant with 2.94 percent, and the standard European Galaxy S7 with 2.82 percent. Interestingly enough, the Samsung W2016 flip phone was also quite popular among cloners with a 2.8 percent share, surpassing even the iPhone 7 Plus whose clones accounted for 2.67 percent of the entire identified pool. The iPhone was followed by another Samsung flip phone – the newer W2017 – and the 7th place was taken by the OnePlus 3T, which was ahead of Xiaomi Mi 5 clones. In closing, prospective smartphone buyers are highly advised to steer away from clones - even though they may seem appealing at first - because they not only pose a security risk but are also generally unreliable and equipped with lower-end components. They only attempt to look like the devices they’re copying but as far as specs, features, security, and reliability are concerned, there are always better and legitimate alternatives on the market, even in the entry-level segment.