Tech Talk

How To Spot A Fake iPhone

Apr 10, 2019

Purchasing an iPhone online can save you a ton of money. Unfortunately, there are many fake devices on the market, and to avoid getting ripped off, you'll need to learn how to identify genuine Apple products. In this article, we're going to help you learn how to spot a fake iPhone a mile away.

Check the packaging

Apple spends a ton of time on their packaging to give every new iPhone that “premium product” feeling. You should be very suspicious of products which are shipped in unmarked boxes or in boxes which do not match the product inside. Genuine products should come in boxes that feature important details like the phone’s make, model and serial number.

Check the casing

In most cases, fake phone manufacturers will cheap out on the case and use a low-quality aftermarket one. Inspect the Apple logo carefully and the materials the case is made of. Some things to look out for might be slight differences in the logo’s finish or whether it’s recessed. Keep in mind that some fakes can be very convincing, but there are often minor differences if you look hard enough.

Does it have Penta Lobe Screws

The devil is in the details, and for counterfeiters, something like the screws on the device can be an easy thing to miss. Genuine iPhones use specialty screws with five points that look a little like a star. If your device has normal Phillips head screws then it’s a fake.

Check the IMEI/Model number

Every phone has its own IMEI number. It should be listed on the back of the device itself and in the phone’s settings. Check to make sure these numbers match, and if they don’t there’s obviously something fishy going on.

Check for the iTunes or the App store

Most fake iPhones will actually be running the Android operating system instead of iOS! That means that they can’t install apple store apps on the device, and if this is missing from your phone, then it’s the biggest tip-off that your device is a phony.

Inspect the screen carefully

The iPhone uses a premium screen but knock-off phones are made much cheaper, and the parts used will likely be lacking in quality. Inspect your device’s screen carefully. Does the picture look washed out or faded? Do the touch functions seem unresponsive? This could prove that you’ve been sold a cheap knock-off rather than a real iPhone.

Check for aftermarket repairs

Many sellers will often purchase broken iPhones and swap those parts with cheaper aftermarket parts. While these are technically “real iPhones” the performance of the phone could be lacking in comparison to an OEM device.

For example, it could feature a less responsive and cheaper screen as in our previous example. Or, the case could be of lower quality, and it won’t feature the model number like the original case does.

When purchasing a used iPhone you should ask very specific questions. If the seller won’t tell you the device is legitimate or whether or not they use refurbished or aftermarket parts then it may be best to purchase your phone from someone else.