If the fake AirPods were deliberately made to infringe on Apple’s intellectual property rights, or if it was made to mislead customers who look for Apple’s AirPods, then yes, companies are definitely not allowed.
However, companies are allowed to create an original product that’s different from AirPods but is essentially “inspired” by Apple’s AirPods, just as long as it is not advertised as the real Apple AirPods and that it’s not blatantly copied. The release of Apple’s AirPods inspired a wave of companies all over the world, both legitimate and otherwise, to make their own versions. There are a lot of AirPods – that is to say, wireless Bluetooth earphones – that had been made to catch up with the growing demand that comes whenever Apple releases a new product in the market. Apple has a reputation for creating quality but expensive products. That’s why whenever Apple does release something; companies are always rushing to make much more affordable versions of their products.
These affordable versions of AirPods are often rumored to be inferior to the original, but it honestly wouldn’t be fair to give all of them that assessment. Sure, some blatant AirPod copies are cheaply made and deliberately made to fool customers into buying it thinking that they have the original. These bad AirPod clones sometimes come in convincing packages. Not all wireless earbuds are like this, although it’ll be hard to sift through the bad quality ones. Expensive doesn’t always mean better. There are still good Bluetooth-enabled earphones out there that may be based on Apple’s original idea, but can still be counted as their own thing.
Unethical Business Practices
I’m by no means a legal expert, but I did do some digging on the internet. The beauty of the internet is that you can get an expert’s opinion on a matter just by looking it up online. This, however, should not be considered as legitimate legal advice, but it should still be something that would be nice to know, especially if you’re interested in distributing your own product that’s based on the idea of Apple’s AirPods or if you’re currently selling one that might be similar.
If you’re looking for AirPods, you must also keep in mind all these things that these companies are trying to do to be able to save yourself the headache of ending up getting a fake AirPods copy. There are a lot of bad business practices that companies in many countries, like China and even the US, do which you should avoid doing and you should avoid buying from these tricky sellers. You’ll find a lot of them in online shops like Amazon and such. You must be vigilant of these unethical tactics that these sellers are doing so that you could avoid them:
- Using Apple’s Logo, Brand, or something that looks like it. Best to not buy anything from un-reputable sites or companies if you plan to buy Apple-made products. If you want to buy the original Apple AirPods, you best stick to the official site or check for certification if they have permission to distribute Apple products. Some of these online shops though can be a bit cunning, and can fool even wary buyers; so if you want to be sure you’re getting an authentic product, stick to Apple’s official shop.
Some companies use intentionally misleading tactics like using a brand name that’s close to what you’re looking for. I think it goes without saying, but don’t buy anything from “Appel”, “Epple” or “Appl”. If you want to buy a cheaper version of the AirPods, there are some products out there that don’t attempt to deceive you. Some really do make products that may almost have equal functionality with Apple’s AirPods but with a much affordable price.
- Deliberately making misleadingly similar-looking AirPods. A lot of companies are copying Apple’s AirPods. They’re making their product as close to the original as possible in appearance while cutting on the specifications to keep production costs low. Honestly, there’s a lot of potential for creativity and innovation in the marketplace of wireless headsets, but of course, it’s easier to use Apple’s design, name, and fame to trick people. The original Apple AirPods come only in one color and that’s white. To a lot of people, the color white could look plain and boring. Which is why it’s a really good idea that some companies try to create a bit of variety by adding different colors and design on their wireless Bluetooth earphones. Many people prefer the colored “fake” AirPods rather than the boring, expensive, plain ones and that might make Apple salty. They might think that these companies are making a profit simply because they are selling copies of their products for a lower price, but that’s actually a pretty narrow-minded assumption. They have a good idea that Apple has yet to execute, and perhaps that’s what’s winning the customers over. Companies should stick to adding more variety and making innovations on AirPods. They shouldn’t just mass manufacture inferior “clones”. Adding a bit of color could go a long way in standing out in the crowd of a thousand AirPods companies. They could use the brainpower involved in trying to look for ways to cheat and just channel it into creativity.
- Lying about features. A lot of times, fake AirPods have a long list of features like sound canceling, water-resistant, and such. One look at the picture and you’ll know these cannot cancel sounds; they don’t even have any rubber on the earpieces! They’re made entirely of cheap-looking plastic, which you might not know until you order one. It could look good in the pictures and the description, or even in the fake reviews, but once you see it for yourself, you’ll be heavily disappointed.
- Deliberate ignorance of AirPods’ patented properties. Note that I say “deliberate”. I’m not going to criticize anyone who made or distribute something who genuinely didn’t know anything about Apple’s many copyrighted materials. I don’t think people should get in severe trouble if they genuinely didn’t know even if they tried or maybe their lawyer didn’t inform them about it. When I say, “deliberate ignorance”, I mean that someone copies AirPods exactly as it is, deliberately avoiding to research which material is copyrighted just so if they get in trouble, they can say that they “didn’t know”.
If you’re a distributor, think about this: was your product made to sell to people who are looking for the original AirPods, or was it made to be a legitimate and original alternative? If your intentions are right, chances are you won’t go wrong. Though you should still do some research on the rules of copyrighted property, just to make sure. Now if you’re a consumer, think about this: is this product trying to pose as the original AirPods or does it try to do something different and try to implement something original? Again, don’t buy something that you know is deliberately trying to deceive you. Get something that adds color, design, or other features to it – just because it’s cheaper doesn’t mean it’s inferior. There are really nice AirPods out there that you might like even more than the original.
Why Should You Get Generic Bluetooth Earbuds?
Speaking of nice AirPods, it’s really not fair to assume that anything similar to AirPods is an unoriginal “clone”. There are quite a few products out there that might be just as good or even better. Since the release of the original AirPods, there have been a lot of products that wanted to not only make their own version of AirPods for the sake of keeping up with Apple but also to innovate and improve on the idea of AirPods. Competition can really bring the best out of products. It generally can spawn a lot of creativity from various brands and companies. In my opinion, there is a lot of untapped potential in the original AirPods that Apple has yet to implement that some generic brands were able to.
- Great Design Concepts and Colors. Somebody thought of the great idea of adding colors to AirPods and it really looks awesome. Adding colors doesn’t really seem like a difficult concept to implement, but for some reason, the original AirPods only come in white. Meanwhile, generic brands out there offer AirPods that are each painted with all the colors from the rainbow. They come in shades of pastel and dark colors, for all kinds of preferences.
- This seems to be the main “selling point” of these generic brands, but of course, that’s not the only reason why people buy these instead. Having a lower price shouldn’t scare you into not trying them. Just because it’s cheaper doesn’t mean it’s cheaply made. It could be just as good or close to the quality of the original, but just without the added expensiveness that the reputation of the brand brings. Just because Apple products are the most expensive, doesn’t mean they’re the best in terms of quality.
- Good Enough Quality. For the price, yes it’s definitely good enough. It would only be 1/10 the price of the original but it could be just as better or at least half as good. Some generic earphones are satisfactory in sound quality and ear comfort; plus, it leaves you with a lot of cash left in your pocket for buying other much more important things. There are noise-canceling ear-buds out there with good bass quality and good battery capacity, but you really have to do a bit of research.
If you care about impressing others by wearing expensive tech on you, then get the original; but if you want to know which the best AirPods are when it comes to quality, it’s better to do your research and sift through all the reviews and comparisons done on the internet. Just make sure to not fall for the fake ones!
” I accidentally bought FAKE AirPods at my local mall! I can’t believe they even sell fakes at the mall. Who would have thought?? What did you think of the fake AirPods? Were they worth $50 dollars? “ – Sara Grace