Nokia warns of explosive fakes

Phone giant Nokia is warning Middle East users of the dangers of using fake batteries, following a string of explosions across the world caused by counterfeit kit.
The explosions have happened as far apart as Vietnam and Amsterdam

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By  Peter Branton Published  November 24, 2003

Phone giant Nokia is warning Middle East users of the dangers of using fake batteries, following a string of explosions across the world caused by counterfeit kit.

The explosions have happened as far apart as Vietnam and Amsterdam. Phone users have been hospitalised with burns after their handsets have exploded. In all cases, Nokia is adamant it is the fault of fake, or non-original, batteries.

While no cases have yet been reported in the region, Nokia is anxious to protect its reputation here, as it is globally. A recent report from a Belgian watchdog firm suggested its batteries may be unsafe, but the organisation this month said that it had tested counterfeit batteries in error.

"We believe consumers are unknowingly being fooled into buying unsafe, low-quality batteries and we are actively taking measures to combat the illegal counterfeit operation at the root of this problem," said Janne Jormalainen, vice president, mobile enhancements, Nokia Mobile Phones. The company is working with authorities in Europe, and tens of thousands of counterfeit batteries have been seized in recent raids.

Jormalainen declined to give details of what steps Nokia is taking in the Middle East. "To avoid giving counterfeiters a head start on our anti-counterfeiting measures, we are purposely witholding information until such time as the programme has been officially announced," he said.

Nokia is giving users advice on spotting fake or non-original batteries. One way is to look at the text on the label, with the company saying wording such as "Replacement battery for.." or "Compatible with.." are giveaways. Non-original batteries will not have been made to Nokia's safety standards, it said.

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