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U.S. customs seizes Apple AirPods and other wireless headphones worth US$62 million

The unique design of Apple's AirPods is  popular with customers and also with fraudsters (Image: Miguel Angel Avila)
The unique design of Apple's AirPods is popular with customers and also with fraudsters (Image: Miguel Angel Avila)
The incredible popularity of Apple's AirPods has apparently led to an increase in the number of counterfeit headphones that are making their way from Asia to markets around the world. The United States Customs and Border Protection Agency is not just clamping down on the import of fake headphones, it has also released an interesting statistic regarding their confiscations.

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The wireless headphone market has enjoyed great success ever since Apple launched the original AirPods back in 2016. Unfortunately, some dubious merchants have tried to get rich at the expense of others by selling counterfeit copies of the costly wireless headphones. The U.S. customs agency has now revealed statistics that confirm this worrisome trend.

According to a report from The Information, 360,000 pairs of wireless headphones have been confiscated at U.S. border control points since October 2020. Had they made it to the market, those products would have been worth more than US$62 million. It took just nine months in the 2021 fiscal year for the amount of confiscated goods to outnumber the previous record-breaking amount from fiscal year 2020.

The statistic further indicates that the number of seizures by U.S. customs has skyrocketed after the release of Apple's AirPods Pro (US$197 on Amazon) in 2019. During that year, the value of all seized wireless headphones amounted to only US$3.3 million. Therefore the value of all confiscated counterfeit headphones has increased twentyfold in just the last three years. Even though the agency does not provide information on the specific models of headphones that are affected, it's likely that the majority of counterfeit products are copies of Apple's expensive AirPods and AirPods Pro.

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Enrico Frahn
Editor of the original article: Enrico Frahn - Tech Writer - 203 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2021
My fascination for technology goes back a long way to the Pentium II era. Modding, overclocking and treasuring computer hardware has since become an integral part of my life. As a student, I further developed a keen interest in mobile technologies that can make the stressful college life so much easier. After I fell in love with the creation of digital content while working in a marketing position, I now scour the web to bring you the most exciting topics in the world of tech. Outside the office, I’m particularly passionate about motorsports and mountain biking.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 07 > U.S. customs seizes Apple AirPods and other wireless headphones worth US$62 million
Enrico Frahn, 2021-07-18 (Update: 2021-07-18)