Arduino - real vs fake vs clone

Hi,
just for fun, I ordered fake arduino on ebay for 6 dolars and clone for 3 dollars.
Where is the difference because of it can cost 1/4 of official Arduino price?
I think that some cheaper part was used, maybe it will burn at lower current than Arduino (<40mA).
I also noticed that the clone for 3 USD it’s not listed as COMx (Arduino Uno), but as COMx USB Serial CH340 (the one for 6USD is listed as COMx (Arduino Uno)).
Also, the 3USD clone has small ATMega (if it is ATMega)
Am I right? And/Or are there some other thing because of it can be cheaper?
Thanks

Please be careful with the meaning of words, "fake" is to be used only for violation of trademark .
The two links that you specify does not point to "fake" products but on authorized products.
Arduino boards are OpenHardware and are freely copyable.
Only the name and the logo "Arduino" are protected.

None of the two products using the name and logo Arduino.
On one web site it is written "Arduino compatible", so it's very clearly marked that it is not a fake.

Well, CH340-based clone is different from an actual Arduino Uno in substantial but probably irrelevant ways. It's more like a duemilanove. I'm sure the vendor would be happy to explain the differences - check out their documentation page, post a mesasge on their forums, or shoot an email off to their customer service department. :slight_smile:

68tjs:
Please be careful with the meaning of words, "fake" is to be used only for violation of trademark .
The two links that you specify does not point to "fake" products but on authorized products.
Arduino boards are OpenHardware and are freely copyable.
Only the name and the logo "Arduino" are protected.

None of the two products using the name and logo Arduino.
On one web site it is written "Arduino compatible", so it's very clearly marked that it is not a fake.

On web site is written "Arduino compatible", but when it arrived, it look realy different. On ebay, there is only UNO text on board. In real, there is full original Arduino UNO logo. It look completely same as real Arduino. When you put the firt for 6USD and real UNO nex to it, only way to recognize it is different color of some cappacitors, in all other ways, it look completely same.

The second isn't fake, it's clone and looks completely different.


This is how "Arduino-compatible board, which is not fake copy of real" looks like

That is a counterfeit and is highly illegal. You should report the seller.

On ebay, there is only UNO text on board. In real, there is full original Arduino UNO logo.

With this additional information that you just made, yes logo use is illegal.

Isaac96:
You should report the seller.

With a seller in China it's a joke ?

It's going a bit off-topic. If you will tell me where and how report the seller, I will, but back to question:
Why it's possible to make the board so cheap? It's only because of low-quality parts, or something more?

Why it's possible to make the board so cheap?

In China:
Cost of manufacturing are low, wages are very low.

Boat transport is very cheap
And especially purchasing component in very large quantities.
Once the development cost are amortized the price of an integrated circuit depends only fixed cost: packaging, packing, delivery etc.
If you buy one ATMEGA328P it will cost between 5 and 10 €.
If you buy 100,000 by year, per unit it will cost few tens of cents.

Edit : I forgot: in US as in Europe there are taxes to be paid. By purchasing directly in China you are outside the law because you cheat by not paying taxes.

Just a question since I was reading this thread for the same reason the OP asked the question. I just bought a clone, from a listed distributor on this website. The cost, without any discount whatsoever, was $5.99. It is hooked up right now and a ftdi from the same company on a homebrew board also, all working fine. What gives? Taxes, no, I bought it from a large chain and paid taxes. What is the difference? It is not counterfeit, a clone.

cncpro:
Just a question since I was reading this thread for the same reason the OP asked the question. I just bought a clone, from a listed distributor on this website. The cost, without any discount whatsoever, was $5.99. It is hooked up right now and a ftdi from the same company on a homebrew board also, all working fine. What gives? Taxes, no, I bought it from a large chain and paid taxes. What is the difference? It is not counterfeit, a clone.

A link to this "listed distributor" might help...

The difference? Likely little to none - on some clone boards that are manufactured in China, they are using the CH340 or other USB serial interface chips instead of the FTDI chipset (either due to cost, or to the fiasco that FTDI pulled earlier) or the Atmega16U2/Atmega8U2 (again, likely due to cost). Also, other passive components are also used - some of these may be marginal, or work just fine. There's also a possibility that the ATMega328 (or whatnot) used is "quasi-legit" - that is, it comes off the same line, but the fab runs a few extra 100,000 chips out (unknown to Atmel), then dumps those on the grey market (thus a lower cost ATMega).

It also comes down to costs to make the stuff - as noted, labor and other things are much cheaper in China, than in Italy (where the "official" boards are made). Plus there are few to no environmental regulations or restrictions - so costs for waste stream disposal are zero or near that. Tons of other lax laws and such - among other things...

Ultimately, it makes for a much lower cost product, than what can be produced in a western nation. In effect, by purchasing such products, you are (indirectly) supporting such production and employment practices. Don't worry - you aren't alone, of course - most westerners are all doing the same thing, when they purchase the latest smartphone, a new computer, a car, an appliance - or almost anything else - there is a significant amount of those products (or the entire product itself) which is made in China. No way around it. But that's what the public wants - cheap shiny, and no responsibility for any problems caused by such - just as long as it is cheap, cheap, cheap.

So - why does the official Arduino cost so much - and why aren't they using the same manufacturers? Well, part of it is the reasons above - but another part of it is branding (current Arduino legal issues aside) - you are paying extra knowing you are getting "the real deal" (plus some of that money goes into keeping this forum and website running, too). Part of it might be "prestige" or "fashion" or any number of other non-rational reasons why people purchase stuff for the amount they do.

In fact - this might also be part of it: Sometimes, lower priced products are perceived by others as being of lower quality - even if both items are identical. This has been proven with many psychological research studies; most people perceive a product that costs more as being "better" - even when shown side-by-side to the identical item with a lower price! In short - lowering your prices below a certain point can actually hurt your sales! You might be going "WTF?!" in your head right now, but its the truth. People are irrational, and it is exploited to its fullest by those wanting to make a buck. There's the adage that you sell a product for what people will pay for it, and not for a penny less; those studies back up this adage.

So this - combined with the other reasons - most likely may be the reason the official Arduino is priced so much higher than clones from China.