iSuppli: One counterfeit part every 15 seconds

iSuppli: One counterfeit part every 15 seconds

Summary: If analyst estimates about 12 million counterfeit parts identified in the last five years are accurate, that would break down to the report of one counterfeit part every 15 seconds.

TOPICS: Tech Industry

There have been several reports circling about a spike in counterfeit electronic parts lately, but just how many and how it breaks down might be shocking.

Market intelligence firm IHS iSuppli found that more than 12 million parts have been involved in counterfeit incidents worldwide from 2007 through April 2012

IHS researchers found that the total of reported incidents of counterfeited parts amounted to 1,363 last year, which likely accounts for a lot more as each incident has the potential to consist of thousands of separate parts.

Analysts estimated that adds up to roughly 12 million over the last five to six years, breaking down to the report of one counterfeit part every 15 seconds.

But the real danger might lie in counterfeit goods that sprouted in the years leading up to this time frame.

Rory King, director of supply chain product marketing at IHS, explained in the report that the big risk lies in obsolete parts -- especially those found in the defense and aerospace industries.

Slightly more than one out of every two counterfeit parts shipped during the decade from 2001 to 2011 are obsolete. Obsolete parts are where a lot of counterfeit activity is occurring. This underscores the importance of obsolescence management and lifecycle planning. Although obsolescence management is critical, more than one-third of counterfeit incidents are for active components underscoring that this issue is not exclusively a matter of obsolescence management.

In February, IHS reported that the number of reported counterfeit parts had quadrupled globally since 2009. Following these events, IHS researchers warned that new regulations on counterfeit goods from the U.S. Department of Defense could have significant ramifications for the international tech supply chain, among others.


Topic: Tech Industry

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  • Too bad....

    Too bad the report doesn't say which parts are most likely the culprit but I'll assume Apple parts. If they sell a keyboard like what Apple sells, how hard is it for someone to duplicate the packaging?
  • So what?

    If it works the way it should, who cares who made it?
    • That's a point...

      Has anybody tried to determine how many incidents of equipment failure, injury, etc. can be traced back to counterfeits/obsolescence? And what exactly is the criterion used to determined what's a counterfeit and what's genuine? Frankly I couldn't care less if Premium Company X that charges twice what the part is actually worth gets undercut by a competitor selling functionally equivalent parts at half the price, or if an older but perfectly good part gets swapped in for a newer one that does exactly the same thing equally well in real-world scenarios. But if physical harm is being done, then there's a problem.
  • So what?

    The problem is that the counterfeit parts ultimately don't work properly.
  • Blacklist and IDs

    US (and others) should begin a blacklist of anyone caught manufacturing/using counterfeit parts. The company and owners (stockholders) that manufactured OR USED counterfeit parts should be permanently banned from any sales within US territories.

    All electronic components should have a GUID hardwired in their manufacture. It can be done and would solve many counterfeit and security issues. Intel proposed this a few years ago and got excoriated for doing it...they were right but just ahead of their time and now it will take an act of Congress to get it done. Enforce the blacklist and the GUID solution will happen so that the major manufacturer's can protect themselves against criminal counterfeiters.

    If the stockholders were penalized (since they own the company) they would demand a proof of origin and manufacture that they wink-wink at now. (see Apple)
  • Not all may care. Consumers decide.

    I read where Kellogs were going to laser burn their brandname onto each cornflake because people may be buying other cornflakes with the mistaken impression that they were Kellogs!

    Can anyone see the arrogance and ignorance in this thinking? People buy cheaper alternatives if they satisfactorily meet a need. A laser etched name on each flake is surely going to increase the price, and convince more people that they can get the same satisfaction for less money elsewhere. I doubt anyone actually cares who made the cornflake as long as it tastes good, has healthy ingredients and looks attractive to eat.

    Definitely remove the fakes with copied OEM branding. That is criminal. But if you see a cheap xyz retailer brand USB keyboard, LCD screen, TV or whatever, and you want to take the risk, then that is your prerogative.
    Fake makers could advertise as compatible with, or similar to but not 'as' the OEM.

    Perhaps a legally defined list of permitted descriptions could be allowed for fakes, and if they breach that, their import licence is terminated and all product recalled from sale. Of course they will come back with a new company, name, person, product a week later, but they will doubtless follow the rules.