Cellular industry bigwigs rally round to emphasise use of genuine products

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In an effort to address consumer concerns on the safety of usage of mobile handsets, the telecom ecosystem, including service providers and handset vendors, have urged consumers to use only genuine, company approved mobile accessories and enhancements. The forum also cautioned people on the fallout of the use of non standard accessories.

According to the Indian Cellular Association (ICA), nearly nine crore original mobile handsets were sold in India in 2007-08 along with the service pack which includes an original battery. However 70-75 percent of the replacement battery market is still dominated by counterfeit batteries. Counterfeits are manufactured in extremely poor conditions with manual welding, poor slitting machines, using non-standard coating material. They also lack safety mechanisms such as Protection Circuit Module (PCM). Most counterfeits therefore deliver very poor performance and may not be safe.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Pankaj Mohindroo, National President, Indian Cellular Association (ICA) said, “There is an immediate need for the government to intervene and crack down on the malice of counterfeit mobile accessories and batteries to ensure the safety of consumers.

ICA has been at the forefront of fighting the grey market in the mobile handset industry and we are all geared to take up the challenge in the mobile accessories market, in order to bring down the grey market drastically in the interest of consumers and the growth of the industry.” He further added, “Out of the Rs. 4 to 4.5 crore battery replacement market, most of it is of suspect quality. We appeal to the government that the duty structure should be rationalized and that will go a long way in curbing the grey market.”

Encouraging consumers to use genuine products, Ajai Chowdhry, Chairman and CEO - HCL Infosystems said, “Hardware counterfeiters illegally use the brand names of reputed companies by copying the packaging and even misrepresenting the technical details. The production standards of their products are invariably low. Sometimes you can run into a piece that works the way it should, but most of the time one gets products at a very good price because counterfeiters are cutting corners in production, not in packaging or distribution. Ultimately, consumers face the brunt and find out about the bad parts the hard way. For the companies, this is a tough battle to fight. The grey market not only eats away a major share of the sales, but also hampers the growth prospects of the hardware industry. Piracy is today the biggest threat to the companies, the industry and the end consumer.”

“A mobile is as safe as any other consumer electronic device used at home. However, consumers need to be mindful and should follow steps advised by the manufacturer to ensure safety of their cell phones and longevity of the batteries,” added Mr. TV Ramachandran, Director General - Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).

The amount of charge a battery can hold gradually decreases due to usage and aging and it should be replaced once the back of the battery falls below 50 percent. The typical life span of lithium-ion battery is 2-3 years under normal use. “Consumer safety is paramount to Nokia and therefore product safety, quality and reliability are Nokia’s top priority”, said Mr. D Shivakumar, Vice President and Managing Director, Nokia India . “Nokia only uses reputable, high quality battery suppliers and regularly assesses their production sites to ensure that appropriate quality systems are in place. Nokia’s batteries are tested against known, internationally recognized quality standards and Nokia’s own stringent quality requirements. Each of Nokia’s batteries complies with all known international quality standards. These include the UL2054, UL1642, IEC 61960-1/2, IEC 60950, and GB/T 18287-2000 standards,” he added.

Over the years, the quality and composition of batteries has evolved and the new generation Lithium-Ion batteries are more environmental friendly than the earlier generation Nickel batteries. These batteries have extremely refined ingredients, which ensure versatility and safety. Lithium-Ion batteries, unlike the earlier generation batteries, also carry a Printed Circuit Board, which prevents overcharge and under charge i.e. these batteries have their own intelligence.

All genuine manufacturers and handset companies have originality marks on their products like a hologram and consumers should always be vigilant and check such things before buying a battery or any mobile accessory.

Battery, BL 5C, genuine, india, Indian Cellular Association, Matsushita, Nokia Replacement

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