Buying AirPods in Russia has become unsafe. There are only fakes around: check yours

AirPods PRO

Despite the fact that Apple has stopped official deliveries of its products to the Russian market for 9 months now, not a single category of goods was in short supply. iPhone, iPad, Mac – everything is still available for purchase, and, moreover, for quite reasonable money. Official retailers, which were engaged in parallel imports and were unable to compete with gray trucks, were forced to gradually lower prices until they were even lower than they were before Apple left. Even the slowly but surely growing exchange rate of the ruble had almost no effect on them. But on the other hand, the lack of control by supervisory authorities affected, due to which find original AirPods among the dominance of fakes, it has become another task.

Rostest or Eurotest

The permission of gray supplies, which for beauty was called parallel imports, led to the fact that almost everyone and sundry began to do this. And in the absence of mandatory certification, Rostest electronics almost completely disappeared from the Russian market. As a result, only the so-called eurotestwhich the supervisory authorities do not check, without being able to make sure that the product is of high quality and, most importantly, original.

If earlier gray device market, imported into Russia from abroad, although it existed, for some time now it has grown to unprecedented proportions. Now any IP can go to the WB and start trading anything there. What’s wrong with that, you ask? After all, competition has always been the engine of the market and a guarantee of favorable prices. With regard to the iPhone, iPad, Mac and other electronics, it happened. But not for AirPods.

If you open any marketplace from Ozon to SberMegaMarket, you will see a bunch of different sellers of Apple equipment there that didn’t exist before. And almost all of them, not surprisingly, trade AirPods at very, very attractive prices, which, against the background of large retail chains, even look somehow unnatural, but still attract a bunch of buyers. Here are some options for you:

AirPods – original or fake

All this is fake. But if the screenshots with Wildberries and Ozon are, in principle, real recognize fake AirPods according to not the most obvious, but quite noticeable hints of the seller, then on SberMegaMarket this can be understood only if you read the reviews or take a good look:

  1. Unnaturally low price. Now, when the dollar costs 70 rubles, it is unlikely that there will be philanthropists who will sell original AirPods for 12 thousand rubles.
  2. The presence of negative reviews about the seller who offered cheap AirPods. People write that they receive damaged headphones or their iPhone does not recognize the warranty service.
  3. The seller is an individual entrepreneur who organized the Citrus store, which exists only on SberMegaMarket. Not only is this an obvious attempt to imitate another popular store called Tsifrus, but it is also not an LLC, which most normal stores are.

At all, IPs at SberMegaMarket (and anywhere else) – this is a rather unsafe category of sellers. You can check their cleanliness by simply breaking it through the Unified State Register of Legal Entities. It is enough to pay attention to the OKVED of the main activity. In the case of our “hero” this is a restaurant business. Most likely, things just didn’t go well for him with a shawarma stall, and he decided to switch to trading fake AirPods. So what? They say we have fools in store for 100 years ahead.

Fakes on SberMegaMarket

How do fakes get on seemingly respectable resources?

Well, it’s simple. The same SberMegaMarket is arranged in such a way that the card of one product is formed from the offers of several independent sellers. This was probably conceived as a way to make the marketplace more convenient for the buyer. Firstly, it was supposed to make the site cleaner, because it would not have to issue a bunch of identical cards for one search query. And, secondly, this way the buyer will be able to choose the right seller himself, comparing the delivery conditions and the price he offers.

But in the current realities, when sellers can afford to trade in fakes, each such card, in addition to original AirPods, get fake headphones. After all, marketplace moderators cannot physically check the goods, and there is simply nowhere to get a certificate. This is how it usually happens, as evidenced by the screenshot attached above. While I was preparing this text, Sber removed from that card fake AirPods. But for the purposes of our analysis, this is even a plus, because it proves once again how easily you can run into a fake.

Fake AirPods – what they can do

It would seem, what is the point of selling fakes? After all, it will be obvious to the buyer immediately after opening the package. But it was not there. Our regular readers know that the Chinese have long learned to fake AirPods so meticulously that it became impossible to distinguish them from real ones. If the first samples were similar to the original only in appearance, then the second wave has already learned the tricks characteristic of “pods”:

  • Synchronization with iCloud
  • Invoke pairing animation on iPhone when case cover is opened
  • Active noise cancellation support
  • Support for Transparency
  • Skin contact detection and pause playback when removed from ear
  • Calculation of the remaining battery life for each earphone and case separately

At some point, AirPods even learned how to bypass the iOS 16 security system, which consisted in checking the headphones for originality. This happened quite recently, but, as practice has shown, many fakes on the market can already show that this is the original. What can we say about their serial numbers, which sellers put on the factory packaging and which “beat” on the Apple verification site, indicating that the fake is supposedly the original.

How to check AirPods for originality

Where to buy AirPodsso as not to run into a fake? Honestly I do not know. After all, you never know where even large retail chains get headphones that are sold in Russia. It is quite possible that they are supplied by the same Chinese whose products we meet on marketplaces under the guise of the original. All that remains is check AirPods for originality on their own. Here are some ways for you:

  • Fake AirPods, regardless of model, are not updated. So when you open your headphones, check the firmware version they are running. For AirPods 2nd and 3rd generation, as well as AirPods Pro, Pro 2 and Max, this should be assembly 5B58 (as of the end of December 2022), and for the very first AirPods – 6.8.8.
  • This is not a 100% method, but check for a guarantee. Go to the Apple Check Coverage website and enter the serial number of your AirPods there. Check the activation date and make sure it matches the actual date you first connected the headphones to your iPhone.
  • Well, the third way, which, as for me, should at least tell you something, is the translucence of the charging case. Try shining an iPhone flash through its cover and look at it through the light. Here we have described in detail what you should see if the headphones are original. There are also other verification methods that you can try at your own risk.
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