The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced yesterday in a tweet that their officers had successfully seized 2000 ‘counterfeit Apple AirPods’ at the JFK Airport coming from Hong Kong. The net value of the seized items is estimated at $398K if the items are genuine. Feds proudly announce their success in the tweet with two pictures accompanying it.
THAT’S NOT AN 🍎 —
CBP officers at JFK Airport recently seized 2,000 counterfeit Apple AirPods from Hong Kong, valued at $398K had they been genuine.
— CBP (@CBP) September 14, 2020
Director of the CBP’s New York operations mentioned in a press release afterwards that this act is the direct reflection of CBP’s daily vigilance and unwavering commitment to the mission. The CBP officers were also praised for protecting the public from day-to-day dangers in the press release.
Counterfeit Apple AirPods Or Legitimate OnePlus Buds?
The photos accompanying CBP’s tweet clearly show that the seized items are OnePlus Buds. The logo of OnePlus is visible on the box carrying the alleged Apple AirPods. CBP’s tweet goes completely against this. The tweet begins by saying, “That’s not an Apple.” Clearly, we can agree on this statement. So, there’s still confusion whether CBP confused legitimate OnePlus products to be Apple AirPods.
Another intriguing factor is that the Apple’s wireless earbuds have been extensively forged in the market. There are shameless replicas of it out there. However, the box and the product image shared by CBP are not one of such forged units.
— OnePlus (@oneplus) September 14, 2020
At this point it’s not clear whether all the 2000 seized products are OnePlus Buds, but questions have arisen owing to CBP’s seizure.
Is It Time To Redesign Earbuds?
There is a lot of confusion brewing among the American public as to what led to the CBP suddenly stopping these units especially. It is clear that apart from the aesthetics, Apple AirPods and OnePlus Buds are not similar to each other. Then, what led to this seizure?
The press release doesn’t mention anything regarding the 2000 seized Apple AirPods being OnePlus Buds or let alone acknowledge the brand logo on the earbud box. Plus, all the actual counterfeit products of Apple are out there in the market without being headed off at an airport.
The CBP officers have not yet been clear if the shipment was supposed to carry Apple AirPods or whether this was a planned seizure or if the CBP officers knew what they were looking for in the shipment.
Many customers or retailers must have faced substantial loss as the OnePlus Buds failed to reach them on time. Moreover, if these are truly OnePlus products then the 2000 products valued at $79 each (OnePlus Buds price) comes to $158,000.
The lack of clarity leads to further questions like was this a CBP blooper or is there a need for fresh earbud designs? Clearly, if the OnePlus buds didn’t look so similar to the Apple AirPods, this gaffe wouldn’t have occurred.