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