With the Airpods, Apple has once again made it happen and triggered a trend: wireless headphones are becoming increasingly common, especially in the ears of young people.
But Apple is not in everything that looks like Apple. In many ears there are cheap alternatives that look deceptively similar to their role models.
The sometimes brazen copies can also be bought on Amazon, and in a fairly large selection.
What Apple has already achieved with the iPod and the iPhone – namely to bring products from the niche into the mainstream and to benefit massively from them – the Cupertino-based company has now also achieved with the Airpods. Because neither the MP3 player with display nor the smartphone was invented by Apple. Even with the wireless earbuds, Apple has not followed any new paths, but has only transformed the paths of the technological pioneers into multi-lane expressways, which the company has played with millions since the introduction.
It is clear that the competition quickly became aware of the success and within a short period of time every tech manufacturer who believed in themselves produced their own wireless earphones. Samsung launched the Galaxy Buds, Google the Pixel Buds, Huawei the Freebuds. Established audio manufacturers such as Sennheiser, Bose, JBL and Bang & Olufsen brought similar devices onto the market. But not only the well-known competition is following the call of money, more and more no-name products are flooding the market.
Amazon and the Airpod fakes
If you enter “Airpods” on Amazon, more than 50,000 products follow. The Apple originals are listed at the top at regular prices from around 130 euros. This is followed by products that look deceptively similar to the models and usually cost between 30 and 45 euros. Every now and then a charging case appears in a special design, but the product range is clearly dominated by the obvious Airpod clones, which often even state “Apple Airpods” in the product description.
Also read: I wrote fake reviews on Amazon – you really have to consider that when buying
Curious about this are the positive ratings given by the bank: Average values below 4 out of 5 stars are the exception, but if you read the reviews more closely, it is suspected that these could be paid customer reviews.
If you click through the reviewers’ profiles, they only give good ratings for very similar products. For example, user “Gerhard Schweizer” rates the product with the article description “Bluetooth 5.0 Headset wireless headset wireless built-in microphone and charging box, 3D HD stereo noise reduction, for Apple Airpods Android / iPhone / Samsung” (link to the product) from LSS:
When NewsABC.net Amazon points out a special product whose manufacturer shows a mirrored Apple logo in the photos, Amazon quickly removes the product from the range. In a statement, the online retailer told NewsABC.net as follows:
“Customers expect to receive original products when they shop on Amazon – be it directly from Amazon or from one of the millions of sales partners. Amazon strictly prohibits the sale of counterfeit products and we make sure that our guidelines are followed with considerable effort and financial resources. We work with brands and support them through programs such as Amazon Brand Registration, Transparency and Project Zero to ensure that we only sell original products. We thoroughly investigate any evidence of counterfeiting and remove the item, permanently block the relevant sales partner, take legal action or, if necessary, work with the law enforcement authorities. The affected products have been removed. “
However, this was only a product of the enormous range. Thousands of other Airpod clones are still available for purchase, not directly through Amazon, but through the “millions of sales partners” that the online mail order company offers a virtual sales room. Counterfeiting and fake reviews are no longer a new phenomenon.
Fake reviews and fake products?
“Counterfeiting is a known problem and we will continue to address it and develop innovations to protect customers, brand owners and sales partners,” an Amazon spokesman told NewsABC.net. “We also work with other marketplace providers, politicians and industry associations to combat counterfeiting.”
A glance at the review overview shows that the majority of the cheap Airpod clones are probably junk products along with paid reviews. For many of the products, the reviews are broken down into 5-star or 1-star ratings – there’s not much in between:
The 1-star ratings are completely devastating: “absolute rubbish”, “what kind of junk”, “nothing works” and “insufficient” can be read there. The 5-star ratings are mainly notable for their grammatically and orthographically poor cheers: “I would love to have the headphones.” Or it is written: “I am very happy that I bought it”. “A reviewer also touted” They were very careful when designing and provided a small box for storage and loading. “
Amazon claims that it is vehemently using the “Project Zero” to combat product fakes. This is intended to “help brands, together with us, reduce counterfeiting to zero by combining Amazon’s machine learning method with the unique knowledge that brands have about their own intellectual property,” an Amazon spokesman told NewsABC.net.
So far, Amazon has apparently not always been able to master the situation. However, it was announced to NewsABC.net that the investigation into the Airpod clones was still ongoing.