October 23, 2020

US government seizes thousands of ‘counterfeit Apple Airpods’ that are actually OnePlus Buds

US Customs and Border Protection racked up a win late last month, according to its most recent press release. On August 31st, the agency seized 2,000 counterfeit “Apple Airpod Earbuds” destined for Nevada at New York’s JFK International Airport. The only problem: those are OnePlus Buds, as you can see in the poor images DHS provided.

The press release proudly proclaimed that those fake Airpods had a street value of $398,000. Of course, we know what they actually have is about $158,000 in OnePlus merchandise (at $79 a pop). The posting doesn’t include any more information—for example, why did someone think these were counterfeit Apple products? Yes, lots of things look like AirPods, but there are no Apple logos or branding.

According to CBP, the shipment originated in Hong Kong before reaching New York, where it was seized. I imagine plenty of authentic gadgets come into the US from Hong Kong, so that doesn’t seem particularly relevant. The bulk of the release recaps the large number of busts CBP makes every year. Hopefully, this incident is not representative of CBP’s accuracy.

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