Apple’s AirPods are priced at $199 for the model that includes a wireless charging case, or if you want to go pro, the AirPods Pro will set you back $249. Neither of these are considered cheap, but they are made by Apple and thus they do have an increased amount of desirability, but not everyone can afford them.
This is why it’s not surprising that we’re seeing more fake AirPods hit the market, and it looks like US customs officials have been busy seizing the ones that they can find. According to a report from The Information (paywall), since October 2020, US customs have managed to seize around 360,000 units amounting to over $60 million in value.
According to US Customs and Border Protection, this represents a 50% increase over the past five years in counterfeit wireless headphones, suggesting that this increase could have been spurred by the popularity of the AirPods. The Information also goes on to estimate that with more people buying fake AirPods, it might be taking away sales from Apple that could have been worth billions.
That being said, counterfeit products aren’t new and will always pose a problem, especially if companies like Apple continue to price their products above what most people are willing to pay.