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sammycarter's avatar

Why are Chinese smartphones a bad idea ?

Asked by sammycarter (31 points ) August 5th, 2012

You know those that they sell on certain sites, they have no brands printed on the phone, cost less than $100 and often have interesting functions

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6 Answers

Nullo's avatar

First thing that comes to mind is the possibility of compatibility issues. I have a beloved Nokia 3310 that I got in Italy and which I would still use if not for the fact that they use GSM and we don’t.

Wal-Mart sells prepaid smartphones for about $50—$100; as long as you’re in the same network you can swap out the SIM card and move on with your life. Not sure of the features.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Some chinese manufacturers (Huawei, for example) are suspected of embedding various chips and software which act as full-time telephone tappers. In other words, your phone is spying on you and reporting to the Chinese.

trailsillustrated's avatar

I have a chinese smatphone. ( a warp). It’s ok except it shows my location as being somewhere in the Congo. I have no idea why.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@elbanditoroso has got it right. You have no idea what malware is embedded in them. The prices are low for a reason. – to get people to buy and use them.
Remember the fiasco a few years back with the cheap chinese made electronic picture frames that were sold at WalMart, Target, and Home Depot? They came with software that you needed to install on your PC. The problem was they also loaded 4 different types of spyware/malware : a keylogger, password stealer, back door and some sort of port redirect. ( I don’t remember exactly. ) . Many of these bargain frames were sold around Christmas time for $10—$20. Who knows where they all are now and what info they’re sending back.

This is an old article about the Best Buy frames with the virus installed. . I’ll keep looking

Found another article The gift that keeps on giving Feb 2008. There are many other examples. I’m sure all that spyware was just an accident. ~

“The virus, which Computer Associates calls Mocmex, recognizes and blocks antivirus protection from more than 100 security vendors, as well as the security and firewall built into Microsoft Windows. It downloads files from remote locations and hides files, which it names randomly, on any PC it infects, making itself very difficult to remove. It spreads by hiding itself on photo frames and any other portable storage device that happens to be plugged into an infected PC.
The authors of the new Trojan Horse are well-funded professionals whose malware has “specific designs to capture something and not leave traces,” Grayek said. “This would be a nuclear bomb” of malware.”

Rarebear's avatar

My iPhone was built in China.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Rarebear Yes it was. It was also supposedly built to Apple’s specifications and reviewed by Apple’s theoretically capable software/security teams.
Unless you got a clone.

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