Even though imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, accusations that Spanish phone manufacturer Zetta has been selling Xiaomi phones as its own suggest something well beyond imitation, reports the International Business Times.
Zetta might be a relatively new company, given that it started selling phones in Spanish stores in 2015, but it has since become known for selling devices with materials usually found in the higher end of the spectrum for relatively low prices. However, it seems that some users questioned where the phones came from, since they took to Spanish forum Forocoches to tear down one of Zetta’s devices.
When they removed the back panel, users noticed there was a sticker underneath the battery. Removing the sticker revealed another sticker, but this time with Xiaomi’s logo on it. Forocoches users also discovered that Zetta sold a phone case that was designed for Xiaomi smartphones.
Users have specifically called out two of Zetta’s phones as possible Xiaomi phones — the Conquistador 4.7 SE and the Conquistador 5.5 Plus. According to the report, the Redmi 2 was repurposed as the former, while the Redmi Note 2 was repurposed as the latter.
Zetta denied the accusations, saying its phones have technologies that are shared with Asian companies.
“The first smartphone this Extremadura company released for sale, the Zetta Multiverse, was designed and made by the company with the support of Chinese production chains. In other models, the company shares electronics with some companies in the Asian sector, and Zetta Smartphone works on improving and adapting smartphone usability for European customers,” said the company in a blog post.
Regardless of its denial, consumer rights group FACUA took to Twitter and called for Zetta to issue refunds to those who bought one of the company’s phones. The group also called for an open investigation into Zetta and its business practices
Interestingly, Xiaomi denied having any commercial relationship with Zetta, with the Chinese firm saying it did not authorize Zetta to either manipulate or sell its devices.