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Over the past few months, several people have returned FB3-QS hardware to us for repair. We thought that was odd, because the FB3-QS has proven to be a VERY reliable platform, having a hardware return rate less than 0.016%.
Upon investigation we found that the units that are failing were not even made by Pangolin! They are counterfeit / pirate units, apparently made in China or Taiwan.
Once we examined the units, we found that the counterfeit / pirate units are made with sub-standard components that overheat over time and eventually cause the FB3 to fail. Upon very close examination and testing, we have come to the conclusion that – eventually – 100% of these counterfeit / pirate FB3 will fail at some point in the future. It is impossible for us to predict how long it will take, because this depends on usage patterns and environmental factors, but it could be somewhere between a few weeks and several months.
The pirates have done a pretty good job of copying our overall packaging. They then market this to resellers who (at least pretend) that they didn’t know that they were buying pirate units from counterfeiters instead of buying genuine product directly from Pangolin. Nevertheless, there are a few ways that you can tell for sure whether your unit is genuine.
At the right side you will see a picture of a typical advertisement of a counterfeit / pirate QuickShow. The blue USB cable is clearly visible.
Pangolin apparently shipped a few units with blue USB cables in the past. This must have been during the period of time that the counterfeiter was pirating our product. Nevertheless, in recent years Pangolin has only shipped gray/tan USB cables. So if you see a new QuickShow being sold with a blue USB cable, that’s probably a sign of a counterfeit/pirate unit.
Pangolin is currently shipping QuickShow version 2.8 and within the next month we will start shipping version 3.0. Nevertheless we haven’t shipped version 2.5 for more than two years. So if you see an advertisement for version 2.5 – at the very least, this would be old stock, but more likely this is an indication that the unit is a counterfeit/pirate product.
Incidentally, in the picture above, you will also notice that the DVD says “Version 2.5”.
Although it is virtually impossible for customers (and the pirates) to know this, the serial numbers on FB3s that they are shipping are at least two years old. If you have recently purchased QuickShow and would like to verify that your unit is genuine, please contact us by email at www.pangolin.com/contact and provide your FB3 serial number. Since every FB3 is registered as to not only the end-user but also the original authorized reseller, we are able to verify whether or not serial numbers are counterfeit or are genuine.
At the Right you will see a picture of genuine Pangolin packaging on the left, and the counterfeit / pirate packaging on the right. Although the difference isn’t dramatic in this picture, the counterfeit / pirate packaging appears faded.
The FB3 boxes themselves are pretty hard to tell apart, but there is one subtle difference which can be seen from the outside, having to do with the USB cable. The difference is shown in the pictures.
The way that the metal is formed and folded on the USB connector makes a difference that can be seen from the outside. It is subtle, but visible. Genuine units have two metal plates on the bottom the fold in such a way that the gap between the metal plates form a visible line in the middle.
On counterfeit/pirate units, there is no gap, and instead if you hold the FB3 at an angle and look closely, it appears that there is a “notch” in the bottom of the connector. This might be clearer in the picture below, where the boards were removed from the packaging.
Pangolin is preparing to take massive legal action against both the counterfeiters AND COMPANIES WHO KNOWINGLY SELL COUNTERFEIT PRODUCTS. Upon our investigation we have learned that not only the counterfeiter, but also people selling counterfeit product are liable for not only civil monetary damages, but also criminal penalties and jail time!
The way the legal system works in China is such that it takes time for attorneys to prepare the necessary documents to present in court and they are preparing those documents right now. Nevertheless, once they are prepared, we will take swift legal action against any and all people and companies selling the counterfeit product.
If you find a counterfeit/pirate QuickShow for sale please report it to us, so that we can keep a record of this for future legal action. We will soon be announcing a policy whereby we will give a cash reward for information leading to the prosecution of individuals or companies involved in manufacturing or distributing the counterfeit / pirate product.
If you learn that you have a counterfeit product – either because it failed, or because you have just read this document and examined your packaging and FB3, please contact us by email. We will work out an exchange deal involving your counterfeit product and information about the dealer who sold it to you, plus an additional fee in exchange for a genuine Pangolin product. The details of these exchanges are on a case-by-case basis.
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