Apple: Counterfeit AirPods May Damage $3.2 Billion


Apple may be suffering a loss of $3.2 billion (equivalent to R$16.5 billion) due to the growing counterfeiting of its AirPods. The estimate, made by The Information website on Friday (16), was based on the release of data on seizures made by US Customs and Border Protection.

According to US authorities, seizures of fake headphones increased from US$3.3 million (R$17 million) in 2019 to about US$62.2 (R$318 million) in October 2020 to the present, noting that these numbers represent only a fraction of the total produced.

Considered easy to copy, the counterfeit headphones seized by US customs reached 360,000 units in just the past nine months. According to The Information, the US Chamber of Commerce estimated in 2016 that the total value of seized products represents only 2.5% of physical counterfeiting worldwide.

What Apple Says

While the billion-dollar loss is only an assumption, an Apple spokesman explained to the 9To5Mac website that the big problem is not the loss of revenue per se, but also the issue of security. According to the representative, in addition to providing an inferior experience, “often [these devices] can be dangerous,” referring to fires in fake chargers and batteries.

The Cupertino company has teams around the world, working together with law enforcement, customs, merchants and e-commerce sites to end these counterfeits. This partnership allowed us to discover that the vast majority of these products came from mainland China and Hong Kong.

About the “preference” of counterfeiters for AirPods, this is, according to 9To5Mac, the ease of counterfeiting a pair of headphones compared to other more sophisticated products, such as iPhones or the Apple Watch watch. Counterfeit AirPods are usually made with authentic molds, stolen from the companies that produce for the Apple.