There are plenty of markets around the world that might not have a population that’s willing to shell out $1,000 for a smartphone. This is why there are companies that purely make cheap Android phones to sell to the masses. Obviously there are compromises when you make a cheap phone, such as using less premium materials or using lower-end hardware.
Unfortunately, it also seems that in some cases, you might end up compromising on security as well. According to a report from BuzzFeed News, it seems that there are cheap Chinese Android smartphones being sold in regions such as Africa where it has been discovered that these phones actually come preloaded with malware that will steal your money.
According to one customer who spoke to BuzzFeed, after he bought the phone in question, he started to realize that he was getting a ton of popup ads that interrupted phone calls and chats, and he would wake up to find his prepaid data being used up and receiving messages about paying for subscriptions that he had never subscribed to.
Further investigation by Secure-D found that the malware actually came preinstalled, meaning that it was not the fault of the user as it came directly from the company themselves. It is unclear if this was done intentionally or if the handset manufacturer’s computers were already infected with the malware that they then unknowingly passed down to their customers.
So the next time you are thinking about picking up a cheap smartphone, you might want to think about this.