Monday, 2024 April 15

Apple steps up fight against counterfeits by disabling AirPods knockoffs on its latest iOS 13

In a move to tackle the counterfeit black market, Apple’s refreshed iOS 13 operating system has been trying to disable the connection with AirPods knockoffs, although some fake manufacturers are already claiming to have found a solution, Chinese tech-centric news site reported today.

After the latest iPhone 11 was released last week, loads of consumers found that they could not pair their counterfeit Airpods with the new device. A pop-up window on the screen only showed a “Connecting” or “Connection Unsuccessful” message, frustrating some consumer’s desires to save a few bucks.

“Connection Unsuccessful” Source:

According to the report, Apple has upgraded the related coding for the iOS13, citing sources familiar with the knockoff industry. Apple’s new measures are meant to solve the pervasive problem of “Shanzhai” or Chinese knockoffs. However, several Apple counterfeits merchants claimed via their social networks that they had already “fixed the issue”.

Fake AirPods are mainly produced in Shenzhen, the southern Chinese city being called the “Silicon Valley of China.” Huaqiangbei, a district in Shenzhen, is home to the world’s largest electronics market and also a hotbed of counterfeit products.

The left is the fake AirPods. The right is the real one. Source: A screenshot from an AirPods knockoff review video on Youtube.

AirPods, a wireless headphone device which debuted in 2016, is one of the most popular products in the knockoffs industry. The price of a pair of Huabeiqiang-born AirPods ranges from USD 20 to USD 70, depending on the different level of similarity with the real product, in terms of charging ports, colors, methods of connections and sound. A legitimate pair of AirPods costs over USD 160.

It seems that Apple’s battle against counterfeits will continue.

Wency Chen
Wency Chen
Wency Chen is a reporter KrASIA based in Beijing, covering tech innovations in&beyond the Greater China Area. Previously, she studied at Columbia Journalism School and reported on art exhibits, New York public school systems, LGBTQ+ rights, and Asian immigrants. She is also an enthusiastic reader, a diehard fan of indie rock and spicy hot pot, as well as a to-be filmmaker (Let’s see).

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