It’s hard to believe, but 1 out of 5 phones in the world is counterfeit and the vast majority come from Shenzhen. This ten-minute video explores the Shanzhai phenomenon and the “mobile phoney” market, a wild west sort of world where counterfeit iPhone 4s are hard to tell apart from their real counterparts.
The Shanzhai market sees the sale of these phones as a sort of a system of liberation that allows items once owned by the elite to trickle down to the rest of the world. The obvious concern – that these are not the same quality as the “real” thing – is made moot by the fact that these things are so cheap and have such diverse features that you’re really talking about an entirely new device for an entirely new market.
Check out the video and see for yourself how the Shanzhai phenomenon is changing the way we think about durable goods and the lengths pirates go to making things look like the real thing.