Why does it feel like the prevalence of knock-off mobile phones has disappeared now compared to before?

Eliminating counterfeit phones requires more affordable options like the Redmi 9A.

The cottage industry has not disappeared, as friends have answered below this question, there are still many cottage phones on Taobao and Pinduoduo. Xiaobai’s evaluation has made videos about cottage phones and bought three models: Huawei Mate 40RS, Xiaomi 11 Ultra, and Apple iPhone 13 Pro, all with 12+256GB storage.

The retail price is 100 yuan per unit. If you have strong purchasing power and buy more than 10,000 units, you can get them at a wholesale price of 80 yuan per unit. You tell me if that’s reasonable.

The shop claims that the processor uses MediaTek MT6595, a 4G-compatible processor, but in reality, the phone’s processor is 6572, which is a 3G-only processor that does not support 4G.

The phone has fingerprint unlocking function and can also record fingerprints according to system prompts. However, whether you record fingerprints or not, the result is the same—you can unlock it with or without fingerprints.

The shop claims that the phone has 12+256GB storage, but the actual built-in memory is only 1.31GB. The screen resolution claims to be 3K, but it is actually 540*960 resolution. It claims to be Android 12, but it is actually Android 4.4.

Is this unreasonable?

But since these things exist, it means that there are still people buying them.

In fact, if you search on a certain online platform, you will find that the sales volume of these cottage phones is not low, contrary to what the asker said.

Of course, compared to the entire mobile phone market, the share of cottage phones is very, very small. Those who make cottage phones know that there are still many low-income people in China who cannot afford expensive smartphones. So they make these cottage phones almost the same as products from regular smartphone manufacturers. Basically, the market for these cottage phones is more focused on specific regions, remote small towns, rural areas, etc. In other words, they are deceiving consumers.

Actually, there are not many mainstream phone manufacturers making phones priced around one hundred yuan. For example, the Xiaomi Redmi 9A series, with the standard version priced at only 499 yuan, has achieved remarkable success. It ranked high among the top ten best-selling models in 2021.

Please pay attention to the ASP data in the table below. The highest-priced Apple iPhone 13 PM is 1324 US dollars, while the Redmi 9A is 78 US dollars. The iPhone 13 PM is 17 times the price of the Redmi 9A.

Looking at it this way, it seems that the Redmi 9A has good sales. However, in reality, online mobile phone sales only account for about 30% of the entire market. Compared to the offline market that the Redmi 9A should face, its sales volume is actually far from enough.

Because in our country, there are still many people with a monthly income of only one or two thousand yuan, and the Redmi 9A should be targeting this group of people.

But there is no way. If the Redmi 9A is placed in offline stores, considering costs such as logistics, labor, rent, utilities, etc., it will definitely lose money. Perhaps the patent fees that Qualcomm collects from the Redmi 9A are higher than the profit that Xiaomi obtains from it.

This creates a paradox:

Those who should buy it don’t know about this phone, and those who know about this phone rarely buy it.

To eliminate cottage phones, we need more phones like the Redmi 9A.

On November 21st, I just updated an article with 25,000 words to review the most worthwhile models currently available on the market. Friends who are planning to buy a phone recently, come and take a look, you won’t be disappointed:

Xu Xi: Recommended models worth buying on Double Eleven in 2023, a sincere recommendation, come and take a look.

The evolution of mobile phones.

Old-fashioned cottage phones look big-screened, but they are just for show. All it took was a set of solutions to put on a facade.

Later, smartphones came along, capable of being gaming consoles.

Your beloved Snake game surely can’t compete with that, but in order to control costs and maintain the essence of being a knock-off, there’s no way it could be the same. After all, knock-off phones are all about pricing.

Others pile up on performance for their smartphones,

While knock-off phones pile up on speakers, flashing lights, and keyboards for the elderly.

And then, smartphones that cost around a thousand yuan came, smooth and seamless. I’m sure everyone here has already replaced their parents' phones, right?

Is it possible not to do so?

Nowadays, smartphones that cost three to four hundred yuan have Wi-Fi that only supports 2.4GHz. Even if you were given Wi-Fi 6, it would only be in a single space. Other aspects may be cut by half as much as possible, but it’s still not useful.

When you change your phone, at least pass it down to your parents, right?

The Disappearance of Counterfeit Phones in the Era of Smartphones

One important reason for the disappearance of knockoff phones is the era of smart phones. The functionality of mobile phones has become increasingly rich, and knockoff phones can no longer meet the basic needs of users.

Back in the era of feature phones, although Nokia and Motorola also had phones that cost several thousand yuan, the functionality of feature phones was very limited. Besides making calls and sending/receiving text messages, the most you could do was play a few built-in games, listen to MP3s, and watch videos on your phone.

These functionalities were not difficult for knockoff phones, especially when MediaTek developed a complete set of single-chip solutions for them. This solution integrated communication baseband, Bluetooth, camera modules, and even the system was similar. Knockoff phone makers only needed to purchase MediaTek’s solution, buy the corresponding parts, and design a slightly better-looking shell, and a knockoff phone would be ready.

Because the phones at that time were only used for making calls and listening to music, the functionality was very limited. Therefore, these knockoff phones, which cost a couple hundred yuan, were not much worse than the several thousand yuan branded phones in terms of user experience. As a result, they were welcomed by a large number of consumers.

But in the era of smartphones, the situation is completely different. Smartphones have greatly enriched their functionality, so the requirements for hardware performance are very high. Initially, the smartphone chips from Qualcomm and Texas Instruments cost at least $100, which was even higher than the total cost of a knockoff phone. Therefore, the cheapest smartphones from brands like Samsung and HTC also cost two or three thousand yuan.

Since the technology for smartphone processors was monopolized by a few semiconductor companies such as Qualcomm and Samsung, it was impossible for knockoff phones to get cheap smartphone processors. Even when MediaTek later had its own smartphone processors, the cost remained high. This meant that knockoff phones lost technological support. Although some knockoff phones survived with low-end MediaTek chips, there was a huge difference in the overall experience between low-end knockoff phones and high-end flagship smartphones. Especially in the price range of less than 3,000 yuan, smartphones were truly worth the money, and if users wanted a better user experience, they could only spend more money to buy branded flagship phones instead of knockoff phones.

Later, with the emergence of domestic thousand-yuan phones or even hundred-yuan phones such as Redmi, Honor, and LeEco, the prices of branded phones were pushed down to the level of “knockoffs,” making it even more impossible for knockoff phones to compete.

Another main reason for the disappearance of knockoff phones is the decline of physical retail stores. In the past, there were shops selling knockoff phones everywhere in places like Zhongguancun Digital City, offering a wide range of knockoff phones. Users could buy whatever kind of knockoff phone they wanted, and even customize them by paying extra. But nowadays, the main channels for consumers to purchase phones are e-commerce platforms and branded flagship stores, which only allow legitimate branded phones to be listed for sale. Many knockoff phones don’t even have the basic network access license, so they naturally lose the environment they need to survive.

In summary, the disappearance of knockoff phones is directly related to the manufacturing costs of smartphones. Knockoff phones occupied the market by offering ultra-low prices, but when the investment in smartphones became higher and the costs couldn’t be lowered any further, knockoff phones naturally disappeared.

Official transformation

Indeed, I have resigned and now go by the name “Guanzhaiji” !!!

“Counterfeit Goods Still Exist”

**Stop feeling that way, I even said “it feels like the poor have disappeared”…

The real world has never seen the disappearance of knockoff products!


Platforms like Taobao and Pinduoduo have always had a large number of knockoff products being sold, and there are people who buy them.

Deceptive Specifications

First ask “is it”, then ask “why”.

This kind of mobile phone is everywhere on certain websites. The processor, storage, memory, and camera are all fake.

Xiaomi’s Redmi series dominates the budget market.

Thank you for inviting me. This is a typical case of “survivorship bias”. The counterfeit market has never disappeared; it’s just that fewer people are buying them. Xiaomi is one of the main forces that are eliminating counterfeit phones.

Think about it. Why do people buy counterfeit phones? There is only one reason - because they are cheap. Before I went to college in 2009, I bought a counterfeit phone. It cost me 900 yuan, but it was unreliable and became unusable in less than two years.

Although there are still people buying counterfeit phones now, the number is much smaller than before. Xiaomi’s Redmi series has played a significant role in penetrating the market. You can take a look at the 2022 Double Eleven Mobile Competition Ranking.

Surprisingly, the Redmi 9A surpassed iPhone 14 and ranked first. Do you know the price of this phone?

It is listed as 509 yuan on JD.com. How can counterfeit phones compare with this price? For the same price, people would definitely choose this phone.

Also, let’s take a look at the sales rankings for phones between 500 and 999 yuan during this year’s Double Eleven.

The Honor Play 20 is priced at 649 yuan…

This shows that major manufacturers have released many cost-effective phones below 1000 yuan to compete in the counterfeit phone market. It’s not that counterfeit phones are bad; it’s just that branded phones offer better value for money.

I am currently using this phone…

Counterfeit phones still exist in offline stores or phone retailers.

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Issues with counterfeit phones include noise during calls, slow internet, unstable signal, and compatibility problems with base stations. Some counterfeit phones perform well, while others are of poor quality.

Offline shopping for phones has decreased, and people now prefer online sales and brand effects. Counterfeit phones are slowly fading from view but have not disappeared completely. They continue to develop in a certain corner and may become big brands in the future.

Wishing success to counterfeit phone manufacturers, turning yesterday’s counterfeits into tomorrow’s big brands! The knockoff phones have not disappeared. You can still see the shadow of knockoff phones in offline cellphone stores or specialized stores.

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Telecom operators' platforms can see the types of phones, and there are quite a few knockoff phones with various problems:

  1. There is noise when making calls.
  2. Slow internet connection.
  3. Signal fluctuates, sometimes there is signal and sometimes there isn’t.
  4. Incompatibility with base stations, continuously requesting network access but being rejected; this situation is relatively rare.

Some knockoff phones have decent performance and can even outperform certain regular phones, while some are made poorly, and there is a chance of accidentally buying a brick.

Currently, there are fewer people shopping offline in malls or specialized stores for phones. Even if they do go to buy, they will ask for the brand they need.

Online sales of phones and the power of branding are too strong, causing knockoff phones to gradually fade from our sight. However, they have not disappeared; they are just developing in some corner. Perhaps one day in the future, they will rise up and become major brands.

Wishing those knockoff phone manufacturers who are striving forward to create tomorrow’s major brands from yesterday’s knockoffs!

Xiaomi: The End of Expensive Knockoff Phones

When it comes to the disappearance of knockoff phones, Xiaomi cannot be ignored.

It is Xiaomi that eliminated high-priced knockoff phones with their interchangeable shells.

It’s because of Xiaomi.

Because of Xiaomi.