28 February 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

€45.3 billion lost to counterfeit phones

An estimated €45.3 billion ($48 billion) was lost in 2015 due to counterfeit smartphones, according to the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

The EUIPO’s report, which was released on 28 February, was authored in collaboration with the International Telecommunications Union (IT) and analysed several different smartphones sold worldwide.

Approximately 1.3 billion smartphones were sold worldwide in 2015, meaning one out of every six people purchased a device.

Overall, an estimated 12.9 percent of legitimate sales were lost due to counterfeits.

In Africa, more than 20 percent of sales were lost due to counterfeiting, followed by Latin America with 19 percent.

But, according to the report, China accounted for one third of the total global revenue lost in the smartphone sector.

EUIPO executive director António Campinos said: “At the EUIPO, through our reporting and analysis, we are building a picture of how counterfeiting and piracy affect key economic sectors.”

“This is our first report in this series, which analyses a sector both inside and outside the EU. Its estimate that 12.9 percent of legitimate sales of smartphones were lost globally in 2015 can act as a powerful message for policymakers, and all who work to combat counterfeiting worldwide.”

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