Falsified specs on Amazon and other retailers
Some products, especially those sold by Chinese sellers on Amazon.com, etc., have falsified specifications.
We have confirmed the following cases with the manufacturing factories.
- Drive recorders that claim to use "Sony sensors" but in fact use sensors made by inexpensive Chinese or Taiwanese manufacturers.
- Mobile batteries that claim to have a capacity of 10,000 mAh but actually have a capacity of 6,000 mAh.
The photo below is a picture of the optical sensor embedded base that was disassembled and photographed with the cooperation of the manufacturing factory.
These counterfeit products are not uncommon; in fact, several of them are even commonly found in Amazon's bestseller rankings.
The reason why these fakes are so common is that it is very difficult for consumers to verify that the specifications are as indicated.
The only way to check is to open the case or compare it to one with the correct specifications. In reality, the quality is not so bad that it is unbearable to use, and most people will continue to use the product thinking that it is "just like that.
In the course of our business, we deal with many factories in China. In the process of doing so, we have learned from the factories themselves that this kind of deception is quite common.
Just to be clear, it is rare for the factories themselves to engage in this kind of disguised sales. Many of the Chinese brands sold on Amazon are simply trading companies that purchase bulk products from manufacturing plants through wholesalers and sell them with disguised packaging and website designations only.
The manufacturing factories themselves are actually heartbroken by this situation, and it was their request to "tell everyone in Japan" that prompted us to publish this document.
The reality of these disguised sales sellers is truly a bicycle operation.
Since China is an advance payment rather than an installment sale, a large amount of cash is required to purchase the goods. The money is then transported to Amazon's warehouse in Japan, and is finally received about half a month to a month after the sale is actually made. In other words, the more the product sells, the less cash is on hand, so the business model requires a lot of debt.
Although they can still make a profit on their books, the only differentiating factor on Amazon is price. Therefore, their sales promotion method is to sell large quantities of products at low prices by cutting down on profits so that they can appear at the top of the search results. If the product does not sell, it will not appear in the top search results, so the only way is to sell it anyway, even if the specs are disguised! There is no other way.
Because of this situation, many companies go bankrupt, and of course, if that happens, support cannot be expected in the event of a breakdown or other problem. Of course, if this happens, you cannot expect any support in the event of a failure, etc. Since the sellers are the ones who falsify specifications in the first place, you cannot expect proper support from the very beginning.
In addition, since it is easier to establish and close a company in China than in Japan, if a problem occurs, the entire company may be shut down and a new company formed, and the store may be restarted as a different store on Amazon without much fanfare.
In spite of this, most of the reviews on Amazon for products with fake specs are very positive. The reason for this is that the reviews are also fake, and they are heavily populated with cherry-picked reviewers.
There are many groups on Facebook, etc., where people are routinely asked to review a product for free and give it a 5 star rating. Please review our products with 5* for free!
In the past, the reviews were written by Chinese people, so it was easy to recognize them because of their strange Japanese, but recently, as mentioned above, they are fake reviews written by Japanese people, so it is difficult to recognize them. In addition, since the reviewers actually buy the product from Amazon and then receive a refund through a different route, it is very difficult for Amazon to detect the reviewers as sakuras, and this kind of thing is rampant.
More recently, some sellers have even been harassing other companies' products with false reviews, causing their ratings to drop and their accounts to be suspended. (Reference: Anker, a major mobile battery manufacturer, has issued a warning.)
Because of this unfair situation, we basically sell our products only through our own store.
We encourage you to be aware of this situation and use good judgment when making a purchase.
February 19, 2020
(Added 11/21/2021 below)
From left to right: camera using Chinese sensor, camera using Taiwanese sensor, and camera using Sony IMX307 sensor.
All of them are sold by Chinese sellers on Amazon.com as "Sony sensor used! by Chinese sellers on Amazon.com.
The Sony sensor generates a lot of heat, so a metal shell with high thermal conductivity is used in its outer shell for cooling. In contrast, inexpensive sensors made in China use a lightweight plastic shell. The Taiwanese-made sensor in the middle is made by imitating Sony's IMX307 sensor, and its model number is also 307, so it is marked as 307 on the board. The performance is not bad, but it also generates a lot of heat, so a metal shell is used.
There are some exceptions, but if a plastic shell is used for the rear camera, it is likely that a cheaper alternative is used instead of the Sony sensor. Metal shells may also be substitutes as described above. (Front cameras installed indoors usually use plastic shells, even if they use Sony sensors, because they have more room in the housing and can be cooled more easily.)
In terms of image quality, there is a big difference, especially in color reproduction, resolution, and brightness at night. For example, inexpensive sensors tend to make images at night look noisy with a lot of smudges (like a dark photo being brightened by Photoshop) in order to force the image to look electrically brighter. Also, the dynamic range of the image is narrow, so dark areas tend to be blurred and bright areas tend to be blurred. Even with the same Full HD resolution, the actual image may have such a difference in resolution that it is hard to believe that the resolution is the same.
However, Sony's STARVIS technology can capture light in areas beyond the sensitivity of the human eye, making it possible to produce images that appear brighter at night than they do with the naked eye. In addition, the resolution and naturalness of the colors are very different from those of less expensive sensors.
(However, the actual image will vary considerably depending on the combination of lenses and tuning. (However, actual images will vary considerably depending on the combination of lenses and tuning, and using a Sony sensor does not guarantee good images.)
In addition, after 2021, due to the global shortage of semiconductors, the cost of Sony sensors will be rising very high, and it will no longer be possible to easily incorporate Sony sensors in inexpensive products. Therefore, please be aware that inexpensive products claiming to use Sony sensors may be falsifying their specifications.