How to distinguish an original iPhone from a fake

Buy­ing a new device is not only a pleas­ant expense, but also an oppor­tu­ni­ty to be very dis­ap­point­ed, because no one is immune from buy­ing coun­ter­feit goods. “Kom­so­mol­skaya Prav­da” col­lect­ed the most com­mon cas­es of coun­ter­feit­ing of Apple iPhone smart­phones
How to distinguish an original iPhone from a fake
How to dis­tin­guish an orig­i­nal iPhone from a fake. Pho­to: shutterstock.com

The pop­u­lar­i­ty of Apple in the glob­al mar­ket has led to an incred­i­ble num­ber of fake devices by Chi­nese man­u­fac­tur­ers. Ini­tial­ly, the lat­ter had a lot of char­ac­ter­is­tic flaws that were easy to detect. In par­tic­u­lar, a poor-qual­i­ty image on the screen, a poor­ly assem­bled case that creaked when squeezed, and Chi­nese char­ac­ters on the back. How­ev­er, soon copies began to be made with bet­ter qual­i­ty, and it became almost impos­si­ble to dis­tin­guish them from the orig­i­nal. There is no uni­ver­sal method for detect­ing fakes.there are only a few rec­om­men­da­tions that will allow you not to make a mis­take when buy­ing a device.

General recommendations


  • The first thing to con­sid­er before buy­ing a new iPhone is frame. There should be no extra gaps on it, crack­ling and crunch­ing are also not allowed.
  • Besides device but­ton (if it is in the mod­el) should not “back­lash”.
  • Dye on the device with­out streaks, is not erased, and does not leave marks on the hands.
  • Most coun­ter­feit man­u­fac­tur­ers install plas­tic case instead of alu­minum. They can be dis­tin­guished by tex­ture and char­ac­ter­is­tic sound, if you tap on it with your fin­ger­nail.
  • Wor­thy of spe­cial atten­tion inscrip­tions on the back cov­er. In the orig­i­nal mod­els, they are applied even­ly, clear­ly, the inscrip­tions are made with­out errors. The cap­tion reads: iPhone, Designed by Apple in Cal­i­for­nia, Assem­bled in Chi­na.


  • The next stage of ver­i­fi­ca­tion is soft­ware. The appear­ance of the main menu, even in fake mod­els, can be visu­al­ly sim­i­lar to iOS. How­ev­er, when you enter the App­Store appli­ca­tion, any, even the high­est qual­i­ty fake, will trans­fer you to Google Play. Of course, you won’t find most of Apple’s brand­ed apps and ser­vices there.
  • iTunes can also be use­ful when check­ing the device. So, when pair­ing an orig­i­nal iPhone with iTunes on a com­put­er, the lat­ter should sync the device. How­ev­er, if this did not hap­pen, then most like­ly you have a fake in your hands.



Non-obvious details

Details that are almost invis­i­ble to the naked eye will also help to dis­tin­guish a fake from the orig­i­nal.

  • So, but­tons and bolts devices must be the same col­or as the case.
  • USB sock­et and the flash of the cam­era should not stick out much or be depressed.
  • The back cov­er of the gad­get should not come off until you remove the screws.
  • The most glar­ing fake facts are hav­ing two sim cards (except for XS/XS max mod­els), mem­o­ry cards and anten­nas.


Anoth­er dis­tinc­tive fea­ture of the orig­i­nal iPhones is the pres­ence of a unique iden­ti­fi­er of 15 dig­its. It is applied on the back cov­er of the device or on the SIM card tray. This num­ber must be com­pared with the one that you can see in the set­tings or on the offi­cial Apple web­site.

Good to know

How to dis­tin­guish a refur­bished iPhone and is it worth buy­ing


  • Comes with the orig­i­nal device head­phones, charg­er, SIM card ejec­tor and doc­u­men­ta­tion enve­lope.
  • They must be neat­ly arranged in a box and wrapped in a trans­par­ent film.
  • On orig­i­nal Apple cables no burrs and plas­tic sag­ging.

Expert advice

So, you have car­ried out a super­fi­cial inspec­tion of the device. All of the above fac­tors indi­cate that you have an orig­i­nal mod­el in your hands, but I would like to know for sure. For help in this mat­ter, KP turned to 21vek.by online hyper­mar­ket expert Ali­na Lugo­va.

Accord­ing to the expert, there are sev­er­al more impor­tant nuances that may indi­cate the authen­tic­i­ty of the device.

  • So, in the orig­i­nal mod­els, the sen­sors can rec­og­nize sev­er­al simul­ta­ne­ous touch­es at once, but the fake will not cope with this task.
  • You can also check the device by mak­ing a call. To do this, dial a num­ber and close the area of ​​the front cam­era with a speak­er with your fin­ger. The screen should turn off. In this way, Apple devel­op­ers pre­vent acci­den­tal press­ing dur­ing a call.
Chi­nese copies of Iphone. Pho­to: globallookpress.com

Com­pli­ance with all of the above fac­tors most like­ly indi­cates that you have an orig­i­nal mod­el.

iPhone models

In this sec­tion, we have col­lect­ed the lat­est iPhone mod­els with a brief descrip­tion. The infor­ma­tion was tak­en from the offi­cial Apple web­site. Before pur­chas­ing, please make sure that the tech­ni­cal para­me­ters of the device cor­re­spond to those list­ed below.

iPhone 12

Apple iPhone 12. Photo: market.yandex.ru
Apple iPhone 12. Pho­to: market.yandex.ru

This device is equipped with a 6.1‑inch Super Reti­na XDR dis­play. The lat­ter occu­pies the entire front pan­el. The smart­phone does not have a Home but­ton. The back side of the device is made of glass. It has two 12-megapix­el cam­eras. The IMEI num­ber is stamped on the SIM card tray.



  • Release year: 2020,
  • Mem­o­ry capac­i­ty: 64, 128, 256 GB,
  • Col­ors: black, white, red, green, blue.

iPhone SE (2nd generation)

iPhone SE.  Photo: Apple
iPhone SE. Pho­to: Apple

The diag­o­nal of the device of this mod­el is 4.7 inch­es. The glass of the front pan­el is flat with bev­elled edges. The Home but­ton is equipped with a Touch ID sen­sor. On the back of the case is a Quad-LED True Tone LED flash, and on the right side is the SIM card tray.

  • Release year: 2020,
  • Mem­o­ry capac­i­ty: 64, 128, 256 GB,
  • Col­ors: white, black, red.

iPhone 11

iPhone 11. Photo: market.yandex.ru
iPhone 11. Pho­to: market.yandex.ru

The iPhone 11 is essen­tial­ly the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion of the iPhone XR. Its main dif­fer­ence is the dual cam­era, hid­den along with the flash under the glass that cov­ers the back of the device. The rest of the smart­phone is no dif­fer­ent from more expen­sive mod­els.

  • Release year: 2019,
  • Mem­o­ry capac­i­ty: 64, 128, 256 GB,
  • Col­ors: pur­ple, green, yel­low, black, white, red.

iPhone XR

Apple iPhone Xr.  Photo: Apple
Apple iPhone Xr. Pho­to: Apple

Unlike all the oth­er 10s, the iPhone XR has an IPS screen, not OLED. In addi­tion, it has a diag­o­nal of 6.1 inch­es, which is more than the X and XS, but less than the XS Max. The res­o­lu­tion is the low­est — 1792 × 828, which gives a dot den­si­ty of only 326 ppi. On the back of the case is a sin­gle 12-megapix­el cam­era with a wide-angle lens and a Quad-LED True Tone flash.

  • Release year: 2018
  • Mem­o­ry capac­i­ty: 64, 128, 256 GB
  • Col­ors: black, white, blue, yel­low, coral, red

iPhone X

iPhone X. Pho­to: Apple

The iPhone X is Apple’s first smart­phone with a 5.8‑inch dis­play that takes up almost the entire front of the case, round­ing off at the cor­ners and leav­ing only rel­a­tive­ly thin bezels and a notice­able pro­tru­sion at the top. The lat­ter caused a mixed reac­tion after the announce­ment of the smart­phone, but after a while every­one rec­on­ciled. The side but­ton is locat­ed on the right side of the device. On the back are two 12-megapix­el cam­eras with a wide-angle and a tele­pho­to lens.

  • Year of release: 2017,
  • Mem­o­ry capac­i­ty: 64, 256 GB,
  • Colours: sil­ver, space grey.