updated 01:35 pm EDT, Wed April 19, 2006
Apple warns of fake iPods
Apple last month began notifying service partners that some companies are illegally manufacturing digital music players which appear remarkably similar to its own various iPod models, and are attempting to sell them to unsuspecting buyers. The iPod nano and iPod shuffle seem to be the most commonly counterfeited iPods, both of which lack a dock connector and utilize nonstandard headphone jacks. Some of the fake products are even stamped with a valid Apple serial number, with several counterfeit models using the specific serial number "6U545TK2TJT." Apple said fake iPod nanos ship without the standard USB cable, and feature a slightly longer screen than the real Nanos. The imposter players run a different operating system, and have been known to include a Play/Pause symbol on the center select button, according to AppleInsider.
Counterfeit iPod shuffles reportedly include an on/off switch which lacks a repeat option, and fail to include a battery or status indicator light. Unscrupulous companies have been packaging the devices in fake iPod shuffle retail boxes that offer the phrase "Digital Music Player" on top.
Some players also ship with documentation that prompts the user to copy their music to a folder on the device rather than using iTunes, another warning sign that the player is not a genuine iPod.
Apple said in a bulletin to service providers that it is taking the matter very seriously, and any information provided by buyers of the imposter players may aid the company in dealing with the issue, according to the report.
Service providers who encounter a fake player are asked to photograph the device, discern where the customer purchased the item, and escalate the information to Apple's technical support group, coupled with any serial number included on the player, if applicable.