U.S. Customs Seizing Record Numbers of Counterfeit Wireless Headphones Since AirPods Pro Launched

The surging popularity of AirPods has reportedly resulted in record numbers of counterfeit wireless headphones being seized at the U.S. border.

fakeairpodsdesign
According to The Information's Wayne Ma, roughly 360,000 counterfeit wireless headphones with a retail value of $62.2 million were confiscated in the first nine months of the U.S. government's fiscal year, based on data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. By comparison, the report claims 295,000 counterfeits with a retail value of $61.7 million were seized at the U.S. border in the entire 2020 fiscal year.

U.S. Customs told The Information that 80% of all counterfeit products coming into the U.S. were from mainland China or Hong Kong. While it's unclear how many of the seized counterfeit headphones were AirPods, U.S. Customs said seizures have increased 50% in the past five years as products such as Apple's earbuds have gained popularity.

The retail value of counterfeit wireless headphones seized by U.S. Customs appears to have skyrocketed following the release of AirPods Pro in October 2019.

the information airpods chart
MacRumors shared a comparison of real and fake AirPods Pro back in 2019:


The Information examined counterfeit AirPods Pro sold in Hong Kong in December, noting that they had a genuine Apple serial number and were physically indistinguishable from legitimate AirPods Pro, and even had functional active noise cancellation and Transparency mode features. The report claims one of the only ways to determine that the AirPods were fake was by looking up their firmware version, which was incorrect.

Related Roundups: AirPods 3, AirPods Pro
Related Forum: AirPods

Top Rated Comments

Yokon54 Avatar
15 weeks ago

Do they work better?
AirPods work great.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rpmurray Avatar
15 weeks ago
I like how the Customs Service determines the estimated retail value of the counterfeits by using the price of the Apple product and not how much the counterfeits actually sell for.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dguisinger Avatar
15 weeks ago
I suppose thats better than when they seized a different brand's product that wasn't pretending to be made by Apple
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hrMACnstuff Avatar
15 weeks ago
they must not have made the required payment to the right folks in Washington.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NMBob Avatar
15 weeks ago
Do they work better?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
npmacuser5 Avatar
15 weeks ago
Sum up the fix in two words, Distribution Channel. If a product does not pass through a certified Distribution Channel, it is fake. The businesses know they are purchasing fake products. They are buying from and selling outside of the approved channels. We the consumers need to be aware of to good a price and how did it get here for every product. Why when it comes to important products, like Apple products. I will only buy directly from Apple or trusted sellers like Best Buy. Price is only one factor in the value of any product.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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