iOS 16 Alerts iPhone Users When Trying to Pair Counterfeit AirPods, But Doesn't Block Them

iOS 16 will warn users who try to pair counterfeit AirPods with their iPhone or iPad, according to code found in the release candidate beta released to developers on Wednesday.

airpods lineup apple
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.

Related Roundups: AirPods 3, iOS 16, iPadOS 16
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Neutral)
Related Forums: AirPods, iOS 16

Top Rated Comments

alpi123 Avatar
12 weeks ago
That's very useful.

There are a lot of places that sell knockoff Airpods and because they're practically indistinguishable from the real ones, a lot of people get scammed.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
_Spinn_ Avatar
12 weeks ago
This is a great change!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wanha Avatar
12 weeks ago
Curious to hear how those of you - who are convinced Apple only ever does something to make a buck - explain the fact that Apple only notifies and doesn't block counterfeit AirPods?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Shanghaichica Avatar
12 weeks ago
Very useful feature. Much needed.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gixxerfool Avatar
12 weeks ago
Well implemented. Warns a user of the issue, but let’s them proceed either way. Makes sense really since there is likely any damage to be done from them allowing to connect.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
svish Avatar
12 weeks ago
Very good. Happy to see this implemented.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

airpods lineup apple

Here's the New AirPods Lineup: AirPods 2, AirPods 3, AirPods Pro 2 and AirPods Max

Wednesday September 7, 2022 1:27 pm PDT by
Apple today introduced the second-generation AirPods Pro with H2 chip, which means the first-generation AirPods Pro have been discontinued and have not been kept as a lower-cost option. The AirPods Pro are being sold alongside the AirPods 3 and the AirPods Max, with the AirPods 2 also in the mix as the cheapest AirPods. Pricing for the AirPods lineup is below: AirPods 2 - $129 AirPods...
AirPods 3 New Firmware Feature

Apple Releases New Firmware for AirPods 2, AirPods 3, AirPods Pro 1 and AirPods Max

Thursday November 10, 2022 12:01 pm PST by
Apple today introduced new 5B58 firmware for the AirPods 2, the AirPods 3, the original AirPods Pro and the AirPods Max, up from the 4E71 firmware that was released back in May. Apple released the 5B58 firmware for the AirPods Pro 2 earlier this week. Apple does not offer immediately available release notes on what's included in refreshed firmware updates for the AirPods‌, but the company...
new airpods lineup black friday

Best Cyber Monday AirPods Deals Available Today

Tuesday November 22, 2022 10:01 am PST by
AirPods deals have been very frequent in recent weeks leading up to Cyber Monday, and many are still so going strong so we're continuing to highlight the best sales for each of Apple's product lines. In this article, you'll find the best Cyber Monday sales on AirPods 2, AirPods Pro, AirPods Pro 2, and AirPods Max. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you...
AirPods Pro Beta Firmware

Apple Releases New Beta Firmware for AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max

Friday October 7, 2022 2:13 pm PDT by
Apple today provided developers with a new beta firmware update for the AirPods 2, AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, AirPods Pro 2, and AirPods Max. The new beta has a version number of 5B5040c. Apple has been providing beta updates for the AirPods since the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, and the firmware is limited to developers who can download it from the Developer Center. Installing the...
AirPods Combo Discount Feature Duo

Deals: Get AirPods for $99.99 and AirPods Pro for $179.99 on Amazon (Up to $69 Off)

Thursday August 11, 2022 6:17 am PDT by
Today we're tracking a pair of discounts on the AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro, and both deals are in stock and ready to ship from Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. AirPods 2 Starting with the AirPods 2, you can get the headphones for $99.99, down from...
AirPods Combo Discount Feature Duo

Deals: Amazon Discounts AirPods to $99.99 and AirPods Pro to $179.99

Tuesday September 6, 2022 10:55 am PDT by
Solid deals have returned for the AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro on Amazon, offering up to $69 off these popular headphones. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. AirPods 2 You can get the AirPods 2 for $99.99, down from $129.00. This remains the best price we've seen...
adaptive transparency airpods pro

Latest iOS 16.1 Beta Removes Adaptive Transparency Toggle for Original AirPods Pro, Confirming Bug

Tuesday October 4, 2022 11:24 am PDT by
The iOS 16.1 beta that was released to developers today removes the erroneous Adaptive Transparency toggle that was added for the original AirPods Pro and the AirPods Max in the prior beta. After updating last week, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max owners running the AirPods firmware beta found an "Adaptive Transparency" toggle in the AirPods settings, and it was initially assumed that Apple had...
airpods pro 2 pink

Apple Releases New Firmware for AirPods Pro 2

Tuesday November 8, 2022 11:48 am PST by
Apple today debuted a new firmware update for the second-generation AirPods Pro, marking the second update that the earbuds have received since their fall launch. The existing 5A377 firmware has been updated to version 5B58. There is no word on what features might be included in the refreshed firmware, so we don't know what's new. Apple also does not provide instructions on how to upgrade ...

Popular Stories

applefifthavenue

Man Robbed After Buying 300 iPhones From Apple Fifth Avenue

Tuesday November 29, 2022 11:54 am PST by
An unnamed 27-year-old man who purchased 300 iPhones from Apple Fifth Avenue on Monday morning was robbed shortly after leaving the store, according to 1010Wins Radio in New York. He was carrying 300 iPhone 13s in three bags and walking to his car at 1:45 a.m. when another car pulled up next to him. Two men jumped out and demanded that he hand over the bags. Not wanting to hand over 300...
iOS 16

Apple Releases iOS 16.1.2 With Carrier Improvements and Crash Detection Optimizations

Wednesday November 30, 2022 10:09 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 16.1.2, another minor bug fix update that comes one week after the release of iOS 16.1.1 and three weeks after the launch of iOS 16.1, an update that added support for iCloud Shared Photo Library, Matter, Live Activities, and more. The iOS 16.1.2 update can be downloaded on eligible iPhones over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. According...
app store awards 2021

Apple Announces 2022 App Store Award Winners, Highlighting Best Apps of the Year

Tuesday November 29, 2022 3:10 am PST by
Apple today announced its 2022 App Store Award winners, highlighting the 16 best apps and games selected by Apple's global App Store editorial team. The top apps were chosen by Apple for their quality, innovative technology, creative design, positive cultural impact, and ability to deliver "exceptional experiences." Apple CEO Tim Cook said: This year's App Store Award winners reimagined...
14 vs 16 inch mbp m2 pro and max feature 1

'M2 Max' Geekbench Scores Leak Online, Revealing Rumored Specs and Performance

Wednesday November 30, 2022 2:39 am PST by
Geekbench scores allegedly for the upcoming "M2 Max" chip have surfaced online, offering a closer look at the performance levels and specific details of the forthcoming Apple silicon processor. The Geekbench results, first spotted on Twitter, are for a Mac configuration of with the M2 Max chip, a 12-core CPU, and 96GB of memory. The Mac listed has an identifier "Mac14,6," which could be...
eufy camera

Anker's Eufy Cameras Caught Uploading Content to the Cloud Without User Consent [Updated]

Tuesday November 29, 2022 1:01 pm PST by
Anker's popular Eufy-branded security cameras appear to be sending some data to the cloud, even when cloud storage is disabled and local only storage settings are turned on. The information comes from security consultant Paul Moore, who last week published a video outlining the issue. According to Moore, he purchased a Eufy Doorbell Dual, which was meant to be a device that stored video...
Apple Park View

Elon Musk Meets With Apple CEO Tim Cook Amid Claims of Twitter App Store Dispute [Updated]

Wednesday November 30, 2022 12:43 pm PST by
Twitter CEO Elon Musk today met with Apple CEO Tim Cook at the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California, according to a tweet shared by Musk this afternoon. Musk thanked Cook for taking him around Apple's headquarters, with no mention of what the two might have discussed. The meeting comes just after Musk on Monday claimed that Apple has "mostly stopped" offering ads on Twitter, and that...
iphone 11 tesla cybertruck close up

Elon Musk Pledges to Build iPhone Rival If Apple Ousts Twitter

Tuesday November 29, 2022 2:48 am PST by
Elon Musk has pledged to offer an "alternative phone" if Apple and Google remove Twitter from their app stores, adding to long-standing rumors about an iPhone rival from Tesla. Modified iPhone 11 Pro in the style of the Tesla Cybertruck, by Caviar. Musk's remark came after being asked about the potential scenario of Twitter being removed from app stores, which could conceivably happen if the...
Cyber Monday Deals Feature 2022

Best Cyber Monday Apple Deals Still Available for AirPods, Apple TV, iPad, and More

Monday November 28, 2022 5:24 am PST by
The Black Friday and Cyber Monday holiday shopping rush is drawing to a close, but there are still some good deals to be had out there. For Apple products, many of the deals you've seen since last week are still available, though some have expired. So for anyone who missed out on Black Friday deals, there's still an opportunity to get some of the year's best prices on many Apple devices. Note: ...
apple music replay 2022 highlight reel cropped

Apple Music Replay 2022 Revamped With 'Highlight Reel' [Updated]

Tuesday November 29, 2022 4:02 am PST by
Apple today rolled out an updated Apple Music Replay experience for 2022, showcasing a new "highlight reel" feature. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The overhauled experience, which started to be noticed by Apple Music subcribers on Twitter earlier today, puts the new highlight reel feature at the forefront of the Replay webpage, which users are encouraged to...
iPhone 14 Pro Rear Camera

iPhone 15 to Use 'State-of-the-Art' Image Sensor From Sony for Better Low-Light Performance

Monday November 28, 2022 11:00 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 15 models will be equipped with Sony's newest "state of the art" image sensors, according to a report from Nikkei. Compared to standard sensors, Sony's image sensor doubles the saturation signal in each pixel, allowing it to capture more light to cut down on underexposure and overexposure. Nikkei says that it is able to better photograph a person's face even with...