In what turned out to be quite an amusing story, Federal authorities wrongly seized almost $400k worth of 'counterfeit' OnePlus Buds. They did this because they believed them to be counterfeit Apple AirPods.
The original report by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) proudly recounts the tail of the bust. It claims to have seized 2,000 counterfeit Apple Airpod Earbuds from Hong Kong worth around $398,000.
However, as reported by The Verge, the images of said 'counterfeit Airpods' show them to be OnePlus Buds. This is quite an awkward situation for all involved and not something the CBP will continue to shout about.
OnePlus has had a busy few weeks and probably did not expect to have to deal with having its legitimate merchandise seized. First details of its new smartwatch leaked through Twitter. Prior to this, the company released an update for the OnePlus Nord giving it improved power consumption amongst other enhancements.
How this situation gets resolved is anybody's guess. However, you can assume that the CBP is unlikely to make a big deal out of this situation and hope that everyone forgets about it soon.
Feds seize $400k worth of legitimate OnePlus Buds
The original press release of the seizure now makes somewhat entertaining reading. It extols the professionalism and work of the officers involved. The release states that the seizure is a "direct reflection of the vigilance and commitment to mission success".
The Verge does point out that it can be hard to tell the difference between Apple Airpods and OnePlus Buds sometimes. However, the CBP could have checked the box as a starting point!
Even more entertainingly, the maths used to get to $400k figures is somewhat questionable. The feds seized 2,000 units as part of this bust. If all of them were OnePlus Buds they should all come in at $79 each. This makes for a total sum of around $158k, almost half of the original valuation.
One thing worth noting in this is that perhaps the pictures do not tell the whole story. The boxes clearly demonstrate that these are OnePlus Buds making the press release and tweets from the CBP questionable.
Feds confuse Airpods with OnePlus Buds?
There is one explanation that may make sense and save the CBP's skin however If these boxes had counterfeit Apple Airpods in that would give the story a different spin.
However, that nowhere does the press release or the tweet mention anything of the sort. Therefore the logical explanation is that federal officers have confused Apple Airpods with OnePlus Buds which is quite the error.
Having seized what they thought were counterfeit AirPods which look like they were actually OnePlus Buds it is difficult to see what will happen next. Perhaps we have got this all wrong and fake Airpods were in the OnePlus boxes.
Either way the bad press this story has got does not look good for the CBP. Even if it turns out to be a lack of clarity in the press release this is still not a good look for the Federal Authorities.