How to authenticate an iPhone and spot a fake

The Apple brand is synonymous with premium products, and the iPhone is its biggest cash machine. Because the iPhone is such an ambitious product, the incredible quality and ease of use is what makes Apple’s most popular product so desirable and expensive. However, with the growing popularity of the iPhone, it gives counterfeiters the opportunity to sell counterfeits at low prices. In fact, fake iPhones and Apple accessories have become so advanced that it sometimes becomes difficult to detect them. I’ve put together a list of some basic and essential things you need to know when shopping for a genuine iPhone or Apple accessory.

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Things to keep in mind to identify a fake iPhone

Pay attention to physical appearance

One of the most common ways to check whether an iPhone is genuine or fake is by examining its physical appearance. Expect perfection when it comes to iPhone design and build. Often on a fake iPhone, the hardware just seems cheaper. So if the material is fragile, the iPhone is a fake. You will get a feeling of satisfaction when holding an iPhone no matter which model you choose. IPhone hardware is typically metal and glass, although matte finishes exist on higher-end models. Pay attention to specifics such as the positioning of the buttons and the logo, a Lightning connector at the bottom instead of a USB-C / A port. Pay attention to details that counterfeiters often overlook, like the color of the iPhone. Apple sells the iPhone (depending on the model) in certain colors and it is not easy to reproduce the exact color scheme. It is easy to find a fake iPhone, as long as you have done your homework before meeting a seller.

Visit an Apple store

If you are planning to buy an iPhone, first try going to your local Apple Store. Check out the look of the iPhone there. Feel the texture and know the price. If someone sells you a used iPhone but the price is too low, that should tell you something. Another way to check the authenticity of the iPhone is to visit the official Apple website. Write down important specs and features that could be a deciding factor when buying an iPhone.

The quality of the material should be top quality, the glass back should have a soft and exclusive touch. (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan / Indian Express)

Check the IMEI or serial number

All genuine iPhones must have an IMEI number or serial number. This way you will know if you are buying a new iPhone, a refurbished iPhone. In Settings, faucet “General” then “On. “Scroll down until you see the IMEI number listed (see this Apple support page for the location of the IMEI number for different models). If the iPhone has no IEMI or serial number, or none at all, it is most likely a fake.

Check the operating system running the iPhone

What makes iPhone so unique is the operating system it runs. Unlike other Android-powered smartphones, the iPhone runs iOS, a proprietary operating system designed by Apple. But often counterfeit iPhones are powered by Android but have iOS-like skin on top to trick consumers. Because of this, fake iPhones can look genuine. You are spending a lot of money to buy an iPhone. Therefore, you should test the device and carefully examine the product. Check if the iPhone comes with default apps like Safari, Health, and Calculator. Try to download a few apps from the App Store, if possible.

Search for Siri

Ask the seller to show whether Siri works on the iPhone or not. Siri is a voice assistant that only works on Apple devices. If the iPhone doesn’t come with a built-in Siri, you’ve been scammed.

Any seller claiming to have a real iPhone but selling for an insanely low price than the retail version is probably selling a fake device. (Image credit: Shruti Dhapola / Indian Express)

Notice the storage capacity

The iPhone does not have a microSD card slot because the internal memory is not expandable. Fake iPhones usually have an expandable store. If the iPhone supports a microD card slot, that’s wrong!

Things to keep in mind when identifying fake power adapters and chargers

For power adapters and chargers, the process of identifying a genuine accessory is detailed on the company’s website via a support page. A legitimate AC adapter will say: Designed by Apple in California, followed by “Assembled in China,” “Assembled in Vietnam,” then followed by a 12-digit serial number. The adapters are mostly white in color and are certified with the letters “UL”, the global safety and certification company based in Northbrook, Illinois. Also, keep in mind that power adapters / chargers sold by Apple in the market come in proper packaging. Another thing: Apple accessories, including AC adapters and chargers, are expensive. For example, a 20W USB-C power adapter for the iPhone costs Rs 1900. Fake Apple accessories are cheap.

Obviously, you can buy Apple accessories for third-party manufacturers. But be sure to buy only accessories certified by Apple, with the words “Made for iPhone” or “Made for iPhone iPad iPod” clearly labeled on the packaging. And if you’re buying a Lightning cable for your iPhone, iPod, or iPad, make sure it’s MFi certified. MFi certification stands for Made for iPhone / iPod / iPad. To sell an MFi-certified accessory, accessory manufacturers must go through a rigorous process to get their products approved by Apple.

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