Recently, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized three illegal shipments containing thousands of fake AirPods. The counterfeit products could be deceiving at a glance, boasting the same appearance and features at a cheaper price. However, note that the substandard materials used in manufacturing these counterfeits could lead to malfunctioning parts.
With that said, we provided a guide on how you could check if your AirPods are real or not.
Apple has configuration trademark over their AirPods. This means that they have legal claim over the "Apple" wordmark and the appearance or shape of their AirPods. Therefore, CBP officials have the right to seize any counterfeit products that have the same shape, size, and designs with the AirPods, regardless of the watermark "brand."
36000 Fake Apple AirPods Confiscated
9news reported that on May 11 and 13, CBP officers in Cincinnati found three large shipments containing counterfeit AirPods. Each shipment contained around 12,000 fake AirPods products. The manufacturer's suggested retail price for these products was estimated to run around $7.16 million. The items were in route for Dayton, Kentucky.
Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie warned consumers to support the official company instead. "Supporting legitimate businesses is the smart choice, and buying from trusted companies protects against potential human rights violations and damage to our economy."
Fake AirPods vs. Real: How to Check
As warned beforehand, counterfeit AirPods are cheaper but they easily break down. Buying them would not give you warranty or guarantees for fixing it. To avoid being scammed from your money, here are some reliable ways to tell real AirPods from fake ones, according to Legit Check:
- Serial Number: AirPods have a legitimate serial number under the cover lid. You can check if the code is real by inputting it on https://checkcoverage.apple.com.
- Diffuser: The diffuser on the ear bud is never misaligned on the real AirPods. The bottom of the of the headphone should also have a sealed grilled area instead of the hollow opening.
- Lightning Port: Real AirPods should have a tight metal outline on their lightning ports, while fake AirPods have thicker outline.
- AirPods Font and Design: Fake AirPods often use reflective silver color for their hinges, brand mark and text. On the other hand, Apple uses classic San Francisco font printed in simple grey. This designing format should be evident in Apple's Logo, AirPod's Brand name and the instructions on the AirPod case.
- Light-Up indicator: AirPods have a light up indicator on the small hole between the earbud docks. Fake AirPods often have the same design with the middle hole, however, it does not light-up.
- Sticker Text: Apple AirPods Box has a product sticker on one side. While it translates "Compatible With" to different languages, it does not have Chinese characters. The recently confiscated fake AirPods have Chinese texts in most of its description.
If you have your AirPods and box on-hand, check for these signs to make sure if you bought the right AirPods or if you fell victim to a malicious scam.
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