11 Major Differences Between Real and Fake iPhones – How to Check if Your iPhone is Original

11 Major Differences Between Real and Fake iPhones – How to Check if Your iPhone is Original

real fake iphone

Owning an Apple iPhone comes with a sense of pride – the reputation and quality that Apple products have in the world are unmatched. Here are a couple of things you should know if you’re about to purchase an iPhone from an unofficial Apple reseller:
You can guarantee that your iPhone is original if you purchase it directly from the Apple store, of course. Sometimes, buying it used and saving a few dollars makes sense considering the hefty price tag of an Apple iPhone.
Many dishonest smartphone manufacturing companies regularly create fake iPhone lookalikes after seeing Apple’s phones’ popularity, quality, demand, and design. And the clones are so well-fabricated nowadays that it can be tough to differentiate between real and fake iPhones. With such a huge market for Apple products, the fake iPhone market has become very lucrative for dishonest phone manufacturers.

11 Major Differences Between Real and Fake iPhones – How to Check if Your iPhone is Original

Many legal attempts to apprehend fake iPhone manufacturers in the market have, unfortunately, failed. The best thing that we can do now is to educate people so they won’t fall victim to these unethical manufacturers. So, next time whenever you or your friends buy an Apple product, this article should help you identify the difference between real and fake iPhones. And this includes all models of iPhones, including up to the iPhone 12 Pro.

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1. Packaging Box Of Apple iPhone:

Real and fake iPhones packaging

First and foremost, a clear difference between real and fake iPhones lies in the box. Both boxes’ build and quality can be very similar, but there will always be a slight difference in the box sizes. The real package is compact, whereas the fake one will tend to be larger. You can also check for the Apple logo on the box, and the color should be uniform.

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2. Serial Number:

Every iPhone has a serial number that identifies it. Locate the serial number on the iPhone by tapping “Settings > General > About > Serial Number.” This number must be verified by the Apple official website, “https://selfsolve.apple.com/agreementWarrantyDynamic.do.” Search it up to confirm its originality.

iPhone Serial Number

Check the iPhone’s warranty period by entering the serial number. If you receive the message “We’re sorry, this serial number is not valid. Please check your information and try again,” then it is a fake iPhone.

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3. iTunes Connectivity and Syncing:

A remarkable feature of an iPhone is its ability to entertain its users with iTunes. You can check if your iPhone is fake or original by trying to connect it to iTunes. If it does not connect, or iTunes does not recognize it, it’s not an actual iPhone. Before coming to this conclusion, ensure that your iTunes and iOS software are both up to date.




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Suppose you cannot sync information between your iPhone and your computer. If not, attempt to restore your iPhone through iTunes. Any iPhone that doesn’t connect to iTunes or the App Store after being restored is either fake or damaged.

4. Applications:

iPhone Applications

The iPhone arrives with native or built-in Apple-branded apps. Unless an iPhone is jailbroken, these apps cannot be removed. Some examples of built-in applications include “Contacts,” “Compass,” “Settings,” “Calculator,” “Music,” and “Photos.” If any of these applications are missing, the phone is either jailbroken or fake. You can restore the original firmware by entering DFU mode and reinstalling the operating system. If native applications are still missing, then your iPhone is likely fake.

5. 3D Touch Feature:

The iPhone 6S and later versions’ 3D Touch display is the latest evolution of the multi-touch display, and it is also one of the key improvements we have seen. Apple has improved the display in various ways. Apart from the size and resolution details, there is a new feature dubbed “3D Touch.”

So, you can spot a fake iPhone 6S or above phones by trying to use the 3D Touch feature. If this is not present or doesn’t work, the iPhone is not real.

6. Apple Store or Authorized Service Provider:

Authorize Apple Service Provider

If your iPhone has passed several of these steps, but you still suspect that it’s fake, bring it to your closest Apple Store or Apple-authorized service provider. A store technician can run diagnostic tests on your iPhone to verify its authenticity (or lack thereof). Thus, you can identify whether it’s a fake or a real iPhone.

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7. Check for Siri:

Siri in iPhone

The most important feature that would be absent in a fake iPhone is Siri. Siri is your voice recognizing digital assistant to help you use your iPhone with simple voice commands. If it doesn’t recognize your voice or an error appears, then it is a fake iPhone.

8. Pentalobe Screws:

Pentalobe Screws

To identify a fake iPhone, check its screws. Apple uses the Pentalobe screws in real iPhones, whereas a fake iPhone has standard cross screws. Here is an image of the Pentalobe screws as well as their location on the iPhone.

9. External Memory Card Slot:

Apple iPhone 6S or later models have no external memory card slots like their predecessors. If you have an iPhone 6S or any other iPhone model with an external SD Card, then it is a fake iPhone.

10. Check the Physical Buttons:

One of the main aspects that can indicate if an iPhone is fake is the physical button placement. It is essential to check that the physical buttons on your iPhone are where they should be located. In an original iOS device, the sleep/wake button is on the top right corner, while the volume switch and ringer slider are on the upper left side. If the buttons are placed somewhere else, then it is a guarantee that the device is fake.

11. Check Using IMEI Number:

We’ve talked about the IMEI number in previous articles—and now, this number can be beneficial in identifying cloned iPhones. Why is this? Well, your IMEI is an International Mobile Equipment Identity number. As iPhone models (and malicious cloning companies) evolve, it can be harder to discern real ones from fake ones going by just appearances alone.

So, the way to check if your phone is genuine is easy using this method:

  • Go to Settings > General >About in your new iPhone.
  • Scroll down until you get to the section with the IMEI number (this should be adjacent to the Serial number).
  • Alternatively, you can go to the dial pad and punch in *#06#, and it will display the number for you.
  • Once you have your IMEI number, ensure that it matches the IMEI number printed on the box your iPhone came in or etched into the SIM tray.

Question: will Apple ever do more to serve justice to those unethical knock-off iPhone manufacturers? 

It can be incredibly frustrating if you find that your iPhone is fake, and you might be wondering why it seems that nothing is being done! The thing preventing Apple from apprehending predatory manufacturers is that it is not done in the United States. Many companies that make these iPhones operate in China are mostly out of our control here in the U.S.

If one clone manufacturer is taken down, there is no legal process to ensure that every other one will be taken down with it. Thus, for the time being, it’s a futile affair. The only thing we can do now is to be completely careful when purchasing Apple products and to do so from reputable merchants if possible.

A Few Bonus Tips To Check If The iPhone Is Original Or Fake:

We’d be thrown if the above tips didn’t work for you. If not, the following are some quick tips that may help you detect your iPhone’s originality.

  • Check the screen: The screen of the original iPhone should be clear and not pixelated.
  • Only iOS: Apple uses the only iOS as its official operating system. If you see any application other than iOS, it is 100% fake.
  • No warranty: Sellers of fake iPhones will not give you a warranty to a certified iPhone service center.
  • Low price: If it is sold for cheaper than a regular iPhone’s suggested price, think twice before buying the product.

Also, check out these differences to spot original vs. fake products:

Models of iPhone that you can check:

This article pertains to all iPhone versions, including the iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, the iPhone 11, XE, 8, 7, and lower models.

I hope the tips and checkpoints in the article can help you if you need to tell the difference between real and fake iPhones. Stay tuned and keep updated on the topic, and please let us know if you have ever bought a fake iPhone. If so, share your experience with us in the comments section below.

Which iPhone do you use now?



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