AirPods Launch Resulted to the US Customs Seizing Fake Wireless Headphones in Record Numbers

Due to the growing popularity of AirPods, a record amount of counterfeit wireless headphones have reportedly been caught at the US border.

According to data from US Customs and Border Protection, around 360,000 counterfeit wireless headphones with a retail value of $62.2 million were confiscated in the first nine months of the fiscal year, according to Wayne Ma of The Information. In comparison, the study estimates that in the entire fiscal year 2020, 295,000 counterfeits worth $61.7 million were seized at the US border.

According to The Information, mainland China and Hong Kong accounted for 80 percent of all counterfeit products entering the United States. While it’s unknown how many of the fake headphones seized were AirPods, US Customs claimed seizures had surged by 50% in the last five years as items like Apple’s earbuds have grown in popularity.

Following the announcement of AirPods Pro in October 2019, the retail value of counterfeit wireless headphones confiscated by US Customs appears to have surged.

The Information looked at counterfeit AirPods Pro marketed in Hong Kong in December. They found a valid Apple serial number, which was visually indistinguishable from the actual AirPods Pro. It even had available active noise cancellation and Transparency mode. According to the study, one of the few ways to tell if the AirPods were fake was to check their firmware version, which was inaccurate.

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