$7.2 million in fake AirPods seized by US customs in Cincinnati

Seized Fake Airpods On Box
Seized Fake Airpods On Box (Image credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

What you need to know

  • 36,000 fake AirPods have been fixed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
  • The goods had a total value of $7.16 million.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers have seized three shipments of fake AirPods in Cincinnati, with each shipment containing 12,000 items. With a total of 36,000 pairs of earbuds seized, the CBP says that the haul was worth $7.16 million based on Apple's genuine retail price.

Notably, none of the packaging includes the word "AirPods" and Apple's logo is nowhere to be seen. However, as the CBP notice spotted by Apple Insider notes, that doesn't matter. These things still break the law.

Apple has configuration trademarks on their AirPods and has recorded those trademarks with CBP. Furthermore, a company does not have to put the "Apple" wordmark or design on their products to violate these trademarks. In this instance, further inspection of the earbuds revealed that their shape and design replicated the protected Apple configuration.

The report says that the AirPods were on their way to an address in Dayton, KY.

Each shipment contained 12,000 fake AirPods, for a total of 36,000. Although each package had a declared value of $5,280, the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price for all the AirPods would have been $7.16 million had they been genuine. The shipments were destined for an address in Dayton, KY.

Fake AirPods are sold all over the place right now and some of them are surprisingly difficult to spot.

Keen to bag yourself a real pair of AirPods at a bargain price? These are the best AirPods deals around right now – and they're all 100% legit!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.