A few months ago, I bought fake Apple products on the Temu app, and it was a total disaster. I received hardly-functional smartwatches, a poor-sounding pair of AirPods look-a-likes and a clear iPhone case that probably offered the same amount of protection I would get from wrapping my phone in cellophane. But curious as to whether all Apple knock-offs in the Temu marketplace suck, or if just ordered a bad lot, I made the debatable decision to purchase more devices.
In the time between ordering the products on Temu and reviewing them for this YouTube video, all have been removed from the Temu app marketplace.
While the Temu marketplace doesn't blatantly allow products listed under Apple’s trademarked names, the items I ordered did come up when I searched the app for things like “AirPods Max” and “Apple Watch bands.” The photos used to promote the products looked, undeniably, like the ones Apple uses on the products it manufactures and sells. What's more, most of the devices I found have been purchased and reviewed thousands of times, according to the product listings.
But how do the fakes stack up to the real things? I bought four more items from Temu — all under $15 — that look like they could be on shelves at the Apple store. Here's how they turned out.
AirPods Max are some of the best headphones you can buy. Not only do they pack impressive sound and top-notch active noise cancellation, but they're packed with features like Spatial Audio and Find My, too. With their fun colors and retro look, it's no wonder the headphones have become a status item.
But the full $549 price tag is, understandably, out of a lot of people's budgets. So I can see why someone might search on Temu for a look-a-like pair. The ones I found from searching "AirPods Max" on the marketplace even came in all five of the real AirPods Max colors. Yet the package that arrived certainly isn't up to Apple standards — the box looked like it had been hit by a truck, with the headset practically falling out.
While they do look a AirPods Max, the headphones I bought on Temu are entirely plastic, right down to the "mesh" earcups that are just plastic cushions with a mesh pattern printed onto them. The headset also had a slew of buttons on the side, whereas the real AirPods Max are navigated with a digital crown.
As for sound, I was actually surprised to find that they sounded bearable. I felt a little bit of bass, and although the vocals sounded flat the overall profile wasn't as hollow as you'd think. Now, for $10 headphones, I didn't expect much. And I still believe you can find great cheap headphones that sound better if you're able to forfeit the AirPods Max look.
'AirPods Pro 2'
My least favorite purchase from my previous Temu haul was the AirPods. I’ve seen dozens of fake AirPods, and these were some of the worst. They didn't stand a chance against any of the best wireless earbuds. That said, the more recent pair I ordered, inspired by AirPods Pro, provided a more positive experience.
First, they came in a colorful package that reminded me of the old pop-art-style iPod advertisements. Then the AirPods themselves look very legit. The case had some healthy heft and the lid felt sturdy. The only way I could tell It from the real thing was that I had the new $249 AirPods Pro 2 with USB-C for comparison, which have a different charging port.
When it came to pairing the earbuds I bought on Temu to my IPhone, I got notification that my phone could not verify that they’re true AirPods. This is a useful message Apple puts in place to dissuade people from peddling phony AirPods as the real thing. Of course, I knew I wasn't using real AirPods.
Similar to the fake AirPods Max, the sound quality of these earbuds wasn't awful. Would I say they sound good? Not really, but I think for earbuds under $10, they're better than you'd expect. Still, if it were me, I would get any of these best cheap earbuds under $25 instead.
Apple Watch Ultra bands
The Apple Watch Ultra and Apple Watch Ultra 2 come with special bands designed for specific sports. There's the Alpine Loop for mountain-style sports, Ocean Band for water sports, and the Trail Loop for outdoor running.
I'm not personally the biggest fan of Apple Watch Ultra bands, finding that none fit my style quite like some other of the best Apple Watch bands. So I wouldn't go online and order bands from Temu that look like the Apple Watch Ultra bands if not for the sake of this experiment. And after trying a $13 pack of six straps out, I wouldn't recommend you do, either.
The "Ocean Band" and "Alpine Loop" are particularly bad. They lack the premium materials and feel of the real bands, which cost $99 when purchased separate from the Apple Watch Ultra. I didn't sense they would stay secure during sports, especially the rugged ones you might face with Apple's titanium sports watch.
I only somewhat liked the fake Trail Loop, which felt soft and stretchy. It still wouldn't be my band of choice, though.
'Apple MagSafe Battery Pack'
The Apple MagSafe Battery Pack is one of the company's lesser-known accessories, making it possible to keep your iPhone charged when you can't get to a cord. But at $99, it's not the most affordable charging solution.
There are actually a number of wireless charging banks you can find on Temu, so I purchased the one that looked most like Apple's for $11. In person, it did look like the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack, minus the Apple logo on the back.
Unfortunately, it didn't come with a charging cord, and when I found one of my own to power it on, it didn't work. I think I ended up with a dud. This didn't totally surprise me, since when I shook the battery pack, it sounded like pieces were moving inside.
Should you buy fake Apple products on Temu?
Despite having more success with this group of products than I had before, I still do not recommend buying anything on Temu under the guise of it being an Apple device. I understand that people like to have things for the look of the brand, but most products are still not functional. And in the case of the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack, the product may arrive totally broken.
I also feel a bit uneasy about getting the notification on my iPhone warning me that I'm pairing fake AirPods. Even if the headphones sound OK, it’s not worth potentially compromising my phone. At that point, again, I think it's probably worth buying more affordable earbuds that don't attempt to pass as AirPods.
While I don't expect I'll be buying more fake Apple products on Temu, I do think there are other benefits to the app. In fact, I spent $50 on Temu for some random items with no regrets. I also purchased some holiday decorations on the app recently, and they turned out great. Perhaps just use caution when buying things that are supposed to look like something they're not.