Customs officials seize 120 fake AirPods and Lightning cables in Hong Kong shipments

Apple AirPods on iPhone
Apple AirPods on iPhone (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Counterfeit AirPods and Lightning cables have been seized on their way into the United States.
  • The shipments originated in Hong Kong.
  • The 120 fake Apple accessories were part of a larger haul.

Apple has always been a target for counterfeit products with people keen to save some money on picking up the real deal. AirPods and Lightning cables are prime targets but Pittsburgh Customs and Border Protection officers seized 120 of them on their way into the United States.

The accessories were part of a larger shipment of fake electronics that originated in Hong Kong. The total value? Around $112,000 according to a report.

Officers seized over 4,700 streaming system remote controllers — 4,212 fake Roku remotes and 500 fake Hisense remotes — along with 120 items resembling AirPods and lightning charging cables. The items arrived from Hong Kong in nine shipments between April 27 and May 4 and were destined for addresses in Butler County.

While cheaper than "real" products, counterfeit electronics come with all manner of problems – not least the fact that they aren't held to the same safety standards and ratings as official products. I'd always suggest using a legitimate Lightning cable in particular – of one sold by a reputable brand – if only to avoid one bursting into flames one night.

It's, unfortunately, something that's happened far too many times and to too many people already.

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.