One out of five cellphones sold is unlicensed copy: Nokia

HELSINKI (Reuters) - One out of every five cellphones sold in the world are illegal or unlicensed copycats, hurting the position of producers like Nokia in emerging markets, the world top manufacturer by volume said on Friday.

“It is mostly China-originated, but it is global. It is not only in Asia, but also in Latin America and even in some parts of Europe,” said Esko Aho, a member of Nokia’s executive board.

Surging growth of no-brand manufacturers coupled with growing smartphone sales boosted third-quarter cellphone sales 35 percent, Research firm Gartner said in November. It raised its outlook for growth in 2010, which it forecast would top 30 percent.

Gartner estimated grey market share had increased to even above 20 percent, but many other market followers have doubted the estimate.

Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by Mike Nesbit