U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials confiscated a shipment of OnePlus Buds headphones at JFK Airport last month, apparently believed to be counterfeit Apple AirPods The edge.
CBP tweeted last night that its officials “recently confiscated 2,000 counterfeit Apple” AirPods “from Hong Kong, valued at $ 398,000 if they were real.”
Hey give them back! 🙃 – OnePlus USA (@OnePlus_USA) September 14, 2020
The tweet is also linked to an official press release commending CBP officials for “protecting the American public from various dangers on a daily basis.”
However, based on the attached photos, the seized products are actually legitimate OnePlus Buds, as clearly described on the packaging of the headphones. Whether the 2,000 seized units were all OnePlus Buds isn’t immediately clear, but given the CBP tweeted, “That’s not one [Apple emoji]”In direct relation to the OnePlus boxes, this is all an embarrassing mistake.
In addition and as indicated by The edgeThe CBP’s rating suggests they were confused with “AirPods” as 2,000 OnePlus Buds at $ 79 each would be worth $ 158,000, not $ 398,000. According to the CBP press release, which does not mention the OnePlus branding, the units were from Hong Kong and were going to Nevada but were confiscated at JFK on Aug. 31.
To be fair, the OnePlus Buds bear a strong resemblance to Apple’s sticky headphones, and there’s no doubt that the market is awash with imitation AirPods. But OnePlus is a well-known brand, and there’s no shortage of other legitimate brands that “pay homage” to the form factor and iconic aesthetic of Apple’s “AirPods” with their own true-to-life wireless headphones.
Regardless of whether the seizure was actually the result of a failure or just poor communication from CBP, OnePlus clearly saw the funny side: its official Twitter account in the US responded to the CBP tweet with “Hey, give this back! ” accompanied by a wrong smiley emoji.