U.S. Customs takes over $7 million of fake AirPods off of the streets
"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," said Oscar Wilde. Based on that saying, you might believe that Apple would be happy to hear that U.S. Customs seized over 36,000 pairs of fake AirPods in Cincinnati. The shipment from China, had they been legitimate AirPods, would have been valued at $7.16 million.
36,000 fake AirPods seized by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol
Of course, the action taken by the U.S. agency is nothing for Apple to be pleased with because in situations like this one, imitation is nothing more an illegal way for a counterfeiter to profit off of Apple's hard work and investment. If you're looking to buy the real AirPods, here are the best AirPods deals available now.
According to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the fake AirPods were delivered in three separate packages with each containing 12,000 units. Again, had the devices been real, each bag would have a valuation of $5,280. The packages were headed for an address in Dayton, Kentucky and had the name "Elite Pods" on them.
Part of a shipment of counterfeit AirPods seized by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol
Interestingly, U.S. Customs said that the copycats didn't have to include the Apple AirPods name on them to infringe Apple's patents. "In this instance, further inspection of the earbuds revealed that their shape and design replicated the protected Apple configuration," the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol said in a press release.
Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie says that "counterfeit products can be deceiving at first glance. They’re often cheaper and can appear very similar to the real thing. However, inferior products can end up costing consumers more than if they purchased the genuine item because of the high likelihood of substandard materials and malfunctioning parts. Supporting legitimate businesses is the smart choice, and buying from trusted companies protects against potential human rights violations and damage to our economy."
The fake AirPods didn't have to use the Apple AirPods name to infringe the manufacturer's patents
To make sure that you are not purchasing a counterfeit product, U.S. Customs suggests that you get a list of the manufacturer's authorized retailers. Purchasing a product from an unauthorized retailer could be a big clue that a product is fake. The agency also suggests that consumers check serial numbers with manufacturer's databases to see whether a product is legitimate.
Keep in mind that if the price of a product is too cheap, it could be a fake made with inferior parts. As the Customs and Border Patrol says, "Additionally, using common sense about purchases that seem so cheap they are 'too good to be true' can prevent consumers from wasting their hard-earned cash on an inferior product. Although fake products may be cheaper, supporting illegitimate enterprises can be far more costly than the real thing."