They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but when you make wireless earbuds eerily similar to Apple AirPods, you probably may be considered fakes.
Or at least that is what happened when thousands of "counterfeit Apple AirPods" coming from Hong Kong were seized by the US customs recently.
The "fake" Apple AirPods stopped in their tracks were, in fact, wireless OnePlus Buds.
Proud of their catch, the official Twitter account of U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Monday tweeted: "THAT'S NOT AN 🍎" before adding, "CBP officers at JFK Airport recently seized 2,000 counterfeit Apple AirPods from Hong Kong, valued at $398K had they been genuine."
A quick glance at the photos tweeted by the US Customs (CBP) shows the packaging of OnePlus Buds, which may have been original at the first place.
THAT'S NOT AN 🍎 —CBP officers at JFK Airport recently seized 2,000 counterfeit Apple AirPods from Hong Kong, valued at $398K had they been genuine.Details via @CBPNewYorkCity: https://t.co/XMgjkfT56i pic.twitter.com/Ofn9REJ9ZB— CBP (@CBP) September 14, 2020
In its press release, CBP detailed the find and wrote: "On August 31, CBP officers seized 2,000 counterfeit Apple Airpod Earbuds from Hong Kong destined for Nevada at an air cargo facility located at John F. Kennedy International Airport. If the merchandise were genuine, the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) would have been $398,000."
The tweet originally posted by CBP went viral in no time, making OnePlus arrive at the scene and comically say, "Hey, give those back!"
Hey, give those back! 🙃— OnePlus USA (@OnePlus_USA) September 14, 2020
Obviously, Twitter had a field day.
LOL— Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) September 14, 2020
But, these don't even look like Apple Airpods. Not to mention, for them to be "counterfeit", they would have the "Apple Airpod" name/logo on them. Copyright infringement, maybe, since they look "similar", but certainly not counterfeit.— Winchester 🇯🇲 (@winchesterlyon) September 14, 2020
Why is this still up?— Devin Nunes’ cow 🐮 (@DevinCow) September 14, 2020
boxes of earbuds clearly marked as OnePlus Buds are not Apple AirPods? Really? I know they aren't the most popular brand in this part of the world but they're a far cry from no-name, they only did 1.4 BILLION in revenue last year... pic.twitter.com/ZpkOPjcKpP— Gamer Trav (@gamertrav) September 14, 2020
so like, does the entire us government go through some kind of training to make the dumbest possible decisions at all times or does it just come naturally— K. K. Buns (@kay_the_stray) September 14, 2020
Can’t blame them. Your product is a virtually indistinguishable clone of Apple’s, and that’s no coincidence.— Marcos Kirsch (@marcoskirsch) September 14, 2020
"Ooooof CBP needs to hire someone who knows their Tech, The One Plus Buds Are Legitimate. They celebrated way to soon, I kinda want to hear what occured after learning these were Legit by the Media & other people," wrote another.
It's worth reminding that the seized earbuds could be counterfeit OnePlus Buds and not Apple's AirPods at all as the photos suggest.
Speaking on their find, Troy Miller, Director of CBP’s New York Field Operations said: "The interception of these counterfeit earbuds is a direct reflection of the vigilance and commitment to mission success by our CBP Officers daily."