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US Customs are seizing record numbers of fake AirPods

US Customs are seizing record numbers of fake AirPods

The arrival of AirPods in 2016 kickstarted a wireless earbuds boom that skyrocketed even further following the launch of AirPods Pro in 2019. That trend has resulted in record numbers of counterfeit wireless earphones being seized.

Fake AirPods are increasingly popular

The Informationreports that around 360,000 counterfeit wireless headphones with a retail value of $62.2 million were confiscated in the first nine months of the US government’s fiscal year (September 2020 — June 2021).That number is estimated to account for only 2.5% of the world’s physical counterfeiting industry, meaning companies could be missing out on as much as $3.2 billion in wireless headphone sales this year alone.

It’s unclear exactly how many products were counterfeit AirPods, but US Customs says the volume of seizures has increased by over 50% in the past five years since Apple launched the first pair of AirPods, with an additional boost being registered following the AirPods Pro launch in 2019 due to their higher price.

As for the origin of these counterfeit wireless earbuds, US Customs says that around 80% of them came from mainland China and Hong Kong. Former Apple employees believe counterfeit AirPods are created with genuine molds stolen from the factories Apple works with.

In a statement to The Information, Apple said the following: 


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