Nokia takes aim at fake batteries

With new hologram labels, the firm hopes to steer customers from counterfeit batteries, which have been blamed for explosions. Photo: Nokia's hologram label

Nokia on Wednesday said it will put hologram labels on cell phone batteries as part of a move to help consumers avoid counterfeits.

The new label will consist of a hologram and a hidden 20-digit authentication code that becomes visible when a portion of the label's surface is scratched, the phone maker said. Users will be able to verify the code online or via short message service.

As previously reported, the phone maker has blamed counterfeit batteries for explosions and incidents of overheating. It said it is continuing to work with law enforcement to take legal measures against companies involved with the sale of counterfeit products.

Nokia said while batteries with new labeling have already begun shipping, they will reach markets gradually. Meanwhile, Nokia batteries without hologram labels will remain on the market for some time.

"With this new Nokia authentication program, we are directly attacking the counterfeiters who manufacture potentially unsafe batteries," Razvan Olosu, vice president of mobile enhancements at Nokia, said in a statement. "The hologram label enables consumers to identify that the battery they are using is indeed an original Nokia battery."