Perhaps you can consider it poetic justice. Samsung, and to some extent Xiaomi, have long been criticized for copying designs from Apple, but these manufacturers are also getting a taste of that medicine in even more massive degrees. Popularity does have its price, especially in China, which even today still has a stigma of rampant cloning, fakes, and pirated products. And it turns out, the favorite victims of smartphone clones are, unsurprisingly, those from Samsung and Xiaomi, proving that not even homegrown products are exempt.
Based on research done by benchmarking favorite AnTuTu, Samsung and Xiaomi together make up more than 60 percent of China’s clone market. The most cloned devices specifically are the Xiaomi Mi Note, Xiaomi Redmi Note, Xiaomi Mi 3, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and Galaxy Note 4. With the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, we could expect those numbers to shift soon.
The situation might almost be laughable if it weren’t so dangerous, both for consumers and for the industry. The fact that the numbers only reflect the Chinese market doesn’t insulate the rest of the world. In fact, the fact that all of these are happening in China makes it even worse. Fakes and clones have a way of trickling down to consumers, even halfway across the world. There have already been incidents of consumers in the West being duped into buying a Galaxy S6 or S6 edge clone that, without closer scrutiny, looks totally legit. Of course, many, if not all, of these happen when buyers resort to resellers or Craigslist.
It also affects the mobile industry at large. Despite Chinese manufacturer’s best efforts to create quality products, they are seemingly fighting a losing battle against knockoffs and public perception. “Made in China” still carries an unjust connotation which doesn’t help manufacturers’ plans to expand abroad. And without much challenge to mobile giants, the market will stagnate and slowly grind to a halt. Proof of that is how major manufacturers like Samsung or Sony have acknowledge the existence of Chinese rivals like Xiaomi in their drive to innovate.