Users failing unlink their AirPods from their Apple ID creates eWaste

According to a recent report from Business Insider, a refurbisher that works with major retailers has been forced to “stockpile more than 30,000 affected AirPods over the course of just a few weeks” because users are failing unlink AirPods from their Apple ID upon return.

AirPods Pro
AirPods Pro

Chance Miller for 9to5Mac:

This means that when the refurbisher tests the AirPods, or even when the next buyer of the AirPods receives them, they see a message about an “AirPods Mismatch” from the Find My app.

The earbuds of your AirPods are linked to a different Apple ID, possibly because one of the earbuds is mixed up with someone else’s AirPods. Learn how to solve this issue by going to the article online.

goTRG, the aforementioned company that handles returns for Walmart and other retailers, says that this issue affects “about eight in 10 AirPods that come through the company’s six facilities.” Another company that sells refurbished AirPods on sites like Amazon, R2Cell, was forced to stop selling refurbished AirPods altogether because of the problem.

MacDailyNews Notee: The refurbishers have reportedly asked Apple for help, but have not yet heard back.

Hence eWaste.

How to unlink your AirPods (and iPhone Leather Wallet, AirTag, or Find My network items) from your Apple ID:

  1. Open the Find My app, then tap the Items tab or Devices tab.
  2. Tap the item or device you want to remove, then swipe up on the handle.
  3. Tap Remove Item or Remove This Device, then tap Remove to confirm.
  4. If your item or device is out of Bluetooth range of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you see an “AirTag Not Found” or “Item Not Found” message. Tap Remove.

These steps are the only way to remove an item from an Apple ID. Apple can’t remove Pairing Lock for you.

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  1. I have a friend who found a pair of airpods while walking his dog. He tried to find the owner. He even posted a sign where he picked them up. But nobody ever contacted him and he had no way of knowing the Apple ID of the owner in order to email them. So, those airpods became e-waste.

  2. seems to me apple isn’t helping this at all. to digitally tie something to someone forever seems pointless. agreed it may help in some respects with theft… but in the end, once digital devices are stolen, they are almost never returned because the thief can’t use them. Maybe a little less TIE from Apple would help with this.

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