Tech

US Customs Seized OnePlus Buds Thinking They Were Counterfeit Airpods

Written by Bill Toulas
Last updated July 14, 2021

OnePlus is returning from the weekend with a weird case they have to deal with, as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has seized 2,000 boxes of its earbuds at the John F. Kennedy International Airport. Being oblivious to the fact that OnePlus is a marque of its own and that its buds are legitimate products, the CBP has proudly published the details of its action on the official website.

They also said the “fake” merchandise would incur damages of $398,000 if they were to reach the United States market. CBP has even posted images of the OnePlus Buds boxes, which is how the world knows they blundered so hugely.

Sure, the Apple Airpods and the OnePlus Buds share a very similar design, but so are many other wireless buds out there. The product box isn’t trying to mimic Apple’s logo, so one cannot really justify how the CBP agents decided that these products are knockoffs. The announcement of the seizure doesn’t even mention the “OnePlus” brand, so the agents responsible for this likely ignore its existence.

Ear Buds

Source: cbp.gov

Apple’s designers are creating iconic products, and the Airpods are the perfect example of this. The market success of the particular product has made it synonymous to the very product category, and it’s so recognizable right now that everything else looks like a cheap copy to the untrained eye.

This is no excuse for the CBP agents, of course, who should have known better. Even if they didn’t, they should have researched it. OnePlus is a fairly well-known brand, even in the United States, where its market presence is somewhat limited.

That is especially the case when there are quite a few other products that look like imitations of another one of Apple’s successes - the Watch. There’s the “AmazFit Bit” that looks a lot like Apple Watch, and there’s also the “OPPO Watch,” which is like a clone of Apple’s design. That doesn’t mean these products are bad or cheap copies. On the contrary, they are great offerings for the price.

OnePlus is also close to releasing a smartwatch, and considering its close relationship with OPPO, we are most likely going to get something heavily inspired by the Apple Watch design.

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