Processor is a digest for what’s happening in the world of consumer technology, with incisive analysis (or maybe just jokes) from Dieter Bohn. Sign up for the newsletter here and check out the Processor video series on YouTube.
Over the weekend, the US Customs and Border patrol gleefully praised itself for seizing counterfeit AirPods. Only they weren’t really knock offs, they were the new OnePlus Buds. Which, yes, kind of look like knock-off AirPods. But they’re also a real product from a real company that really does make things (though if you want to make the case that OnePlus is just Pontiac to Oppo’s Chevy, I’d hear you out). Chuckles were had by all.
Except the CBP didn’t laugh. The CBP doubled down and said that no, it didn’t make a mistake and the OnePlus Buds did count as counterfeit and the CPB does, in fact, have the legal authority to seize them. It smells of retconning, but it might also nevertheless be true that the CPB can do that (seize the buds, I mean. It’s probably free to retcon too, in today’s America).
After the titanic news of Oracle and TikTok and Nividia and Arm, the OnePlus Buds saga was the small escape I needed until I realized that it, too, is a synecdoche for the globalized conflict between the US, China, and the weird state of IP law. Ah well.
We’ll catch you after Apple’s keynote today, which is just one of several big tech events happening this week. I hope you can join us for a watch-along in our liveblog.