HTC latest to ape Apple with AirPods knockoff

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Following in the ignominious footsteps of Samsung and a number of Chinese smartphone makers that "borrow" from Apple's popular designs, HTC is reportedly working on a pair of copycat AirPods tentatively called "U Ear."

Detailed in a regulatory filing submitted to Taiwan's National Communication Commission, uncovered by Android Police, HTC's Bluetooth headset is an unabashed replica of Apple's massively popular AirPods design. A separate FCC filing was discovered by The Verge.

Like Apple's device, the "U Ear" sports ergonomically molded ear tips, long stems and a very familiar carrying case that opens like a clamshell. Microphone input on one or both earbuds is assumed to be an integrated feature, though exact positioning cannot be confirmed.

The headset charges via a pair of "pogo stick" terminals positioned on said stems, likely feeding directly into a small battery cell located within. HTC's charging case supports USB-C, though power transfer rates are unknown.

Notably, the "U Ear" dons black plastic, unlike Apple's all-white AirPods. Whether HTC plans other color options is at this point unknown.

Though HTC filed for regulatory certification in the U.S. and Taiwan, the product has not been announced and may not ship to consumers.

Apple helped defined the Bluetooth headset market with AirPods in 2016. With seamless connectivity across Apple's various platforms, advanced features and solid performance, the accessory quickly became one of the company's best-selling items.

The second-generation AirPods and first-generation AirPods Pro are helping to push Apple's wearables, home and accessories product segment to new heights, with the company in April reporting segment revenue of $6.3 billion for the second fiscal quarter of 2020. Shoppers can regularly find deals on AirPods across Apple resellers.

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