Customs Seize $398K Worth Of ‘Counterfeit’ Airpods, Turn Out To Be OnePlus Buds

by : Emily Brown on : 14 Sep 2020 12:45
Customs Seize $398K Worth Of 'Counterfeit' Airpods, Turn Out To Be OnePlus BudsCustoms Seize $398K Worth Of 'Counterfeit' Airpods, Turn Out To Be OnePlus BudsCBP/Twitter

Customs officers at New York’s JFK airport detailed their success in seizing $398,000 worth of ‘counterfeit’ Apple AirPods, though the headphones actually appear to be legitimate OnePlus Buds. 

Brands have a habit of borrowing ideas if they prove to be successful, which is probably why OnePlus Buds and Apple Airpods, as well as a whole host of other new earphones out there, look so similar.

You couldn’t blame someone for getting one confused with the other, but when you’re trying to figure out if a crime has been committed it’s probably best to double check.


It’s advice that should be taken into account by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), who tweeted today to say that 2,000 ‘counterfeit’ Apple AirPods had been seized after entering the US from Hong Kong.

Officials said the headphones were ‘valued at $398K had they been genuine’, but pictures of the haul indicate they were genuine, they just weren’t Apple.

The buds were found nestled in white cases, similar to the ones Apple offers, but the red boxes protecting them stated they were ‘OnePlus Buds – White’.

CBP officers seize 'counterfeit' airpodsCBP officers seize 'counterfeit' airpodsCBP/Twitter

It seems CBP officers missed this vital clue when they confiscated the earbuds, which were intended to end up in Nevada.

Troy Miller, Director of CBP’s New York Field Operations, spoke proudly about the bust in a press release, saying:

CBP Officers are protecting the American public from various dangers on a daily basis. The interception of these counterfeit earbuds is a direct reflection of the vigilance and commitment to mission success by our CBP Officers daily.


Officers seized the ‘counterfeit’ goods on August 31, but only shared the news today, September 14, when they posted the tweet with the caption: ‘That’s not an [apple].’

It didn’t take long for people to point out that the ‘fake AirPods’ were actually OnePlus Buds, but CBP has not addressed its apparent mistake.

It’s unclear if all 2,000 of the earbuds seized were OnePlus Buds, or if there were some actual counterfeits in among them, but OnePlus joined those highlighting the blunder as it responded to the tweet.


The official Twitter account for OnePlus wrote:

Hey, give those back!

CBP’s press release said agents seized 27,599 shipments containing goods that violated intellectual property rights in fiscal year 2019. The seized goods, had they been genuine, were valued at nearly $1.5 billion.


The statement explained:

Watches and jewelry topped the list for number of total seizures with 4,242 representing 15% of all seizures.

Wearing apparel and accessories placed second by MSRP value with seizures estimated to be valued at more than $226 million.

It’s unclear whether CBP will own up to its mistake or whether the OnePlus Buds will ever make it to their intended destination, but hopefully the situation will encourage agents to take a closer look at the goods in future.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: News, AirPods, Apple, Counterfeit, Now, OnePlus, OnePlus Buds, US Customs and Border Protection


CBP/Twitter and 1 other
  1. CBP/Twitter


  2. U.S. Customs and Border Protection

    CBP at JFK Seizes Counterfeit Apple Airpod Earbuds