Apple’s AirPods design has become so iconic that it was only inevitable that many TWS earbuds would start sporting the same basic look. It was also inevitable that there would be countless knockoffs trying to rip consumers off that aren’t able to tell the difference. It seems that even authorities may have been confused as the US Customs and Border Protection office proudly announced they seized 2,000 counterfeit Apple AirPods that were clearly marked as OnePlus Buds.
One can only imagine the pride that the US CBP felt and the pats on the back and handshakes the officers received upon uncovering the nefarious heist. The units were headed to Nevada from Hong Kong and were seized at JFK last August 31. The CBP press release boasted that the interception of the counterfeit goods reflected the office’s vigilance and commitment to mission success.
It would have definitely gone down as a proud moment for the feds if not for one detail. The counterfeit AirPods seized were, in fact, OnePlus Buds. Clearly labeled and perhaps well-documented with papers that were probably quickly dismissed simply because of their country of origin.
To their credit, the OnePlus Buds do resemble AirPods but if and only if they were out of their charging cases, which didn’t resemble AirPods cases. It would have probably taken the feds on less than a day to verify the legitimacy of the products. Considering almost two weeks have already passed, one can only wonder what the esteemed and proud office was doing in between to prevent such a gross error.
Some might point out how it should be a warning to companies to be warier in the designs they choose, and there might be some truth to that. It isn’t an excuse, however, for authorities not to do their own due diligence. Neither OnePlus nor the CBP has made any comment, making the whole matter even more curious and, to some extent, laughable.