iOS 16 Alerts iPhone Users When Trying to Pair Counterfeit AirPods, But Doesn't Block Them
Apple can already tell users when a non-genuine part is detected in an iPhone or iPad, but it looks as if the company is ready to extend this warning to fake Apple accessories, too.
First spotted by 9to5Mac, the code indicates that when a user attempts to pair non-genuine AirPods with their Apple device, the upcoming version of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 will throw up a message on the screen, which reads: "These headphones could not be verified as genuine AirPods and may not behave as expected."
A "Learn More" button will then redirect users to a support article on Apple's website explaining how to identify genuine AirPods. Notably, Apple doesn't appear to want to stop users from pairing the fake AirPods, but instead displays a "Don't Connect" option.
The surging popularity of AirPods has resulted in record numbers of counterfeit wireless headphones being seized at the U.S. border. According to a 2021 report, 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.
U.S. Customs said 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 previous five years as products such as Apple's earbuds have gained popularity.
Counterfeit AirPods can use genuine Apple serial numbers and usually look physically indistinguishable from legitimate AirPods Pro. Many will even have functional active noise cancellation and Transparency mode features.