Determine Fake vs. Real Iphone

Edited by Ryan, Eng, Lynn, Maria Sharon Ubando and 28 others

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With such a huge market share, the "fake iPhone" market has become very lucrative for unscrupulous phone manufacturers. Some of the earlier iPhone knock-offs are so poorly done that it is easy to differentiate a fake iPhone from a genuine one. However, over time, some fake iPhones cloned so well that they are physically very similar to a genuine iPhone. From the size of the device, the buttons placement, the Apple logo, and other physical indicators of an original iPhone, some fake iPhones are really good imitations.

This article will show you the difference between a fake iPhone and a genuine iPhone. Fake iPhone manufacturers often go a long way just to make their victims believe that what they are selling is the authenticated one. Attempts by police to eradicate fake iPhones from the market have failed. So the only thing that can be done is to educate people so they won't fall victim and purchase an iPhone from these unethical manufacturers. If you are buying an iPhone from the used market, a classified ad, or some other dealer that is not an Apple dealer, use this guide to determine if the phone you are buying is in fact a real iPhone.


How to Find Out if Your iPhone is Genuine

There are three basic ways of checking if your iPhone is a genuine or a fake one. We have grouped them into three indicators - physical, performance, and system indicators.

Physical Indicators

You need to check on these physical signs to ensure that your iPhone is the real one:

  1. 1
    Check for the screws
    The original iPhone uses the pentalobe security screw while the fake one uses the normal cross screws. The pentalobe security screw, from its name, has five lobes that provide a tamper-proof system for the iPhone. This is a good indicator for the consumer to ensure that they are buying the original iPhone.
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  2. 2
    Check the physical buttons
    Another physical quality to note is that on the real iPhone, the sleep/wake button is on the top right corner, while the volume switch and ringer switch are on the upper left side. If the switch or buttons are not where they should be, then the phone you are looking at is a fake one. Some fake iPhones have the buttons in the right positions, however, feel the buttons by running your fingers on them. Press the buttons repeatedly to check if they are not loose and are improperly fitted. Clone iPhones have poor button quality.
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  3. 3
    Check the screen
    The screen of original iPhone should be clear and not pixelated. iPhone's screen uses a retina display that has a higher pixel density making the screen look crispier, livelier, and full of colors. Fake iPhones have dull colored screens due to the low-cost of their parts.
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  4. 4
    Check for the Apple logo
    On the back of the phone, you must see an iPhone logo. If you can't find the logo, then it is not a real iPhone. Some clone iPhones are so good in imitating the original ones that they also have the logo at their back. However, you can rub your finger over the logo. You will feel a transition from the phone cover to the Apple logo if you are having the fake one.
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  5. 5
    Check the welcome screen
    This is also a must, especially if you can't distinguish the fake one to the original by looking at the physical features. Try to turn off then turn on the iPhone. A fake iPhone will have a welcome screen, like the word "Welcome," while the original one will show you the logo of the iPhone. On the home screen, you will find an iPhone store icon. Try to click on it. If it takes you to the Google store, then you know what to think.
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  6. 6
    Check the font
    Another thing that makes a fake iPhone really funny is when you try to check for the font on your messages, it gives you a Chinese character, so you have to configure your phone to enable English settings.
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  7. 7
    Ask how many SIM cards can be used
    When you check how many SIM cards run on an iPhone, a dealer of the fake one may proudly tell you that you can use two SIM card running at the same time. Then you will know you are getting an authenticated fake dual SIM iPhone. The iPhone can only use one SIM card. The original iPhone should bear a label that says it's designed by Apple California and assembled in China. Without this kind of mark, your phone is a clone.
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Performance Indicators

The main reason why fake iPhones exist is that people want to get an iPhone at a cheaper price. With the cheaper price of the device comes the obvious poor performance of the phone. These are the obvious red flags:

  1. 1
    Camera quality
    Real iPhones have superior camera quality while the fake ones take bad and blurry photos. A physically convincing iPhone with bad photos, regardless of the lighting conditions, is a possible fake iPhone. Try the other camera modes including video recording and see how bad does a fake iPhone take pictures and videos.
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  2. 2
    Multi-tasking capabilities
    Open the Music app then play it in the background. Open another application and check how the phone performs. Fake iPhones have a hard time supporting two applications at a time. iPhones run smooth even if multiple applications are opened.
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  3. 3
    Quickly scroll between application screens
    Do a quick scroll to the left and right of the home screens. The fake iPhone will obviously lag down and won't be able to keep up with your quick scrolls.
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System Indicators

You can check these system indicators to distinguish a real iPhone from a fake one:

  1. 1
    Look for the serial number
    You can dial the code "*#06#" on your dialer to display your iPhone's serial number. On the phone, go to "Settings," choose "General," and then click on "About." This will give you the serial number. You can then access the Apple website, where you can enter your iPhone serial number to see if it is a real iPhone. On the website, enter your hardware serial number. If the site says that the code is invalid, then your iPhone is a clone.
    Walakobay iPhone Check Coverage.JPG
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  2. 2
    Check the memory capacity
    The original iPhone has a fixed storage capacity and cannot be expanded. The fake iPhones require a memory card to expand its memory capacity. If you find a memory card slot at the back or the side of the phone, then start backing out because you are looking at the fake one.
    Determine Fake vs. Real Iphone 27636.jpg
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  3. 3
    Check for Siri
    The Siri application can only be launched on an original iPhone. Siri does not work at all on a fake iPhone.
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  4. 4
    Try to check the operating system
    If you see any application other than iOS, it is 100 percent fake. Apple uses proprietary iOS as its official operating system.
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  5. 5
    Try to connect to iTunes
    Connect your phone to a computer and try to run it with iTunes. If you are receiving an error, then it means iTunes does not recognize your phone; thus it is undetectable and fake.
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  6. 6
    Check the built-in applications
    The original iPhone should have the built-in Apple applications, such as Compact, Compass, Settings, Calculator, Music, and Photos. If one of those is missing, the phone might be jailbroken. To be sure you have the original phone, try to restore the original firmware. If some built-in application is still missing after restoring the original firmware, then you know what it is -- a clone iPhone.
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Other Tips

  • Ask about the warranty. Sellers of fake iPhones will not give you a warranty to a certified iPhone service center.
  • Pay attention to the price. If it is being sold far cheaper than a regular iPhone's suggested price, then think twice before buying the product. If the price is too good to be true, chances are, the iPhone is a fake one.
  • Take it to an iPhone store. If your phone passes all the tests mentioned above, but you still have doubts, go to the nearest iPhone store. Ask for their technician to check for your phone. They can run a diagnostic test to check for the authenticity of your device.

Questions and Answers

How can you tell an original vs. fake iPhone serial number?

If you want to check the serial number, you can:

  • Click on "Settings".
  • Then go to "General".
  • Tap on "About".
  • Scroll down and check "Serial Number".
  • Take note of the numbers and check its authenticity at
  • Put in the serial number you have. If it says you have invalid numbers, your iPhone is a fake.

1. First, go to Settings

2. Choose General

3. Select About

4. Scroll down till you see Serial Number.

5. Go to

6. If you receive a message saying "We're sorry but this serial number is not valid...." Then most likely it's a fake.

One more instruction by 3rd party site

1. go to

2. type your iPhone IMEI

3. you will get an info about your device, inlcuding model

4. if you get an error its mean iPhone isn't original

There is also other way to check it by IMEI

1. go to

2. Enter your Apple device IMEI

See more questions like this: How to determine the iPhone 4S between fake and original? On back side of iPhone is it stated on the original: designed by California

Does a fake iPhone 5 offer the same app's as the original iPhone?

Yes, it can but I cannot function properly. Determining a fake iPhone 5 is easy, you will need to do a search of the following to make sure that the gadget that you will be buying is the real one:

  • the real one costs way more than the fake one
  • fake ones have the SIM card slot behind the phone and not on the side.
  • a fake one has a removal battery, real ones don't
  • they also don't have an SD slot, because they do not have that feature on an iPhone (unlike Samsung)
  • they have terrible resolution, real ones have a great resolution (even the old ones)
  • fakes may have pens (metal or plastic), a real one can only respond using your fingers
  • fakes have a toggle switch to switch between ring and silent that do not have any function at all
  • check the apps like iTunes, safari and the app store if the function properly

No, Fake iPhone's platform is different from the original iPhones. Original iPhones run on iOS while most fake iPhones run on Android. However, There are some apps that are available on both platforms, such as Skype, Angry Bird, Flappy Bird, etc.. This is because most developers develop games and apps for both Android and iOS.

I have an iPhone 5 here and was wondering if the screen is real. It is cracked and does not work?

I want to send it to Apple for a repair but I am not sure if the screen is real or fake and Apple won't fix it if the broken screen is a fake

The screen on the iPhone will not determine whether or not apple will repair the screen. The reason I am saying this is because when an original phone screen is cracked or broken you can have it replaced with a screen from another company but it will not turn apple away from repairing your screen.

Here is more information about the subject:

How to identify if it is original or fake iPhone?

How to identify if it is original or fake iPhone?

It is easy to figure out whether you are purchasing an original or fake iPhone 5S by checking the serial number.

An original iPhone has an 11-digit serial number which follows the format AABCCDDDEEF. This corresponds to the following details:

  • AA - This pertains to the machine and factory ID
  • B - Manufacturing date (2008 is 8 and 2011 is 1)
  • CC - Production week
  • DDD - This specifies the unique number identification.
  • EE - Device color
  • F - Storage size

The original iPhone 5S serial number, as well as the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) and Mobile Equipment Identifier (MEID), can be found engraved right at the back metal case. The MEID number makes use of the first 14 digits, which disregards the final digit. You can also check the serial number right at the SIM tray and the main packaging right at the barcode.

You can also check the serial number when you open the device by tapping on "Settings", clicking on "General", and choosing the "About" button. You can verify authenticity by checking the serial number on this website: ""

See more questions like this: Why does my iPhone get hot when charging its to hot to handle?

Good afternoon sir, how to identify the fake iPhone 4S 64GB?

I cannot connect to WiFi and I cannot open my Facebook, thanks.

The difference between a fake iPhone and a real one can be described in the following specifications so that you will be able to determine whether or not your device is, in fact, fake or real at this time. Here are the specs below that you can follow in order to be able to spot out the differences:

-Screen is a resolution of 854 x 480 240dpi which is lower than the original

-Chinese letters on your screen rather than English

-On the back of the device, it must say "designed by Apple in California, assembled in China"

-If hard drive size is shown on back then it is fake

Here is a video to show you all of the differences:

See more questions like this: Good afternoon sir, how to identify the fake iPhone 6 plus 125GB?

Price of iPhone 5C 8GB in Indian Market?

Is it possible to get iPhone 5C 8GB at Rs. 14000. One of the local stores is ready to sell this mobile at this cost. So I want to know; is this an original or a duplicate mobile.

It is possible to have it sold at that price. It is more likely that the person bought it abroad, possibly with a postpaid plan, that's why it is cheaper than when you would buy a standalone iPhone. You have to check, however, if it's locked to a particular service provider. If that is the case, you would need to have it unlocked and that would cost you some money to have it done. Also, check whether it's actually compatible with the service providers in India.

I'm going to China (Guangzhou). I want to get a locked (AT&T) 5S. Please tell me how to recognize a fake iPhone?

Is it OK if I buy an iPhone 5S from China?

You can use the steps provided at the beginning of this guide to determine if you are purchasing an authentic iPhone 5S. You do NOT need to, nor are likely to be able to find, an iPhone locked to AT&T. Instead, find an iPhone that is unlocked. You can test this by bringing your AT&T SIM card with you. Try it on the phone before you buy it and make a test call just to make sure it actually works.

How can I update my iPhone 3GS to iOS 7?

I'm trying to install the Facebook app on my 3GS. It's saying you need iOS 7 to install this app. How can I upgrade to iOS 7

Unfortunately, the iPhone 3GS does not support iOS7. Only the following devices are supported in iOS7:

  • iPhone 5S
  • iPhone 5C
  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 4
  • iPad 4th Generation
  • iPad 3rd Generation
  • iPad 2nd Generation
  • iPad Mini

What is the difference between an iPhone 5S vs. an iPhone 5S clone?

I have to purchase an iPhone 5S through internet shopping. So, I need some clarification to buy a mobile on the internet.

There are many different iPhone clones in the market. It is not possible to list all of the differences from one iPhone 5S to the next, as everyone can have differences. Some of these differences are minor, but others are obvious. However, some of the most important differences are internal, as in the case of SD memory. Bad or low-quality SD memory will degrade more quickly, and be subject to failure sooner than high-quality memory.

In the case of an online purchase, the company you are purchasing from can place any photos of a real device. Therefore, it will not be possible for you to confirm that you are purchasing an authentic device unless you request the serial number, and use the beginning of this guide to confirm that number.

As with all online purchases, use a credit card so that you are protected in the event the iPhone you purchase is not authentic.

See more questions like this: I don't know if my phone is a clone . But I want to know so I can return it?

My camera is not working good?

My camera is not working good

First of all, make sure that the camera lenses are clear on both sides by wiping the lenses with a microfiber lens cleaning cloth. Then, tap on Camera from the home screen and ascertain whether the rear-facing camera is active. The rear-facing camera takes pictures behind the phone. Tap the icon in the upper-right corner to change cameras.

Then, see if the case covers any parts of the camera.

Tap on "HDR" at the top and see if it helps.

Also, try to focus the camera on elements by tapping them on the screen.

If you have a blurry iPhone 6 Plus camera, you can replace it at official Apple service centers for free. It was reported that between September 2014 and January 2015, some defective units were sold.

iPhone 6s may require you to disable the Live Photos feature: tap Camera from the home screen, tap the middle button on top.

Lastly, update your phone to the last version and hard reset it by pressing and holding the lock and power buttons until it restarts.

If nothing helps from these tips, then your device may be fake.

No thanks, but how can I unlock it though?

How can I unlock the iPhone? I bought an iPhone, but I'm not sure if it's unlocked. Can you tell me a way I can test online?

[[1]] is a VisiHow article that explains how to jailbreak your iPhone. This will void any Apple Warranty, though. can tell you if your phone carrier options are unlocked by using your unique IMEI number. As long as your iPhone is not in a contract as you pay it off, you can contact your carrier to unlock the phone. Most recent iPhones are already unlocked though.

Android label appearing in start-up screen?

When I switch on my iPhone 5S it is showing the label Android in the initial screen, is it original or fake how can I find out?

It is most likely fake as it was designed to imitate the look of an iPhone device with a "launcher" application, which is readily available online. The original iPhone always shows the welcome screen with "Welcome!" in various languages on the white background.

However, an iPhone device can have applications that are both available on Android and iOS. Also, if the phone somehow has moved past the welcome screen and is on the home screen showing an Android logotype, it can be a wallpaper. To check if it is a wallpaper, tap "Settings" and "Wallpaper" and see if the logo is there.

The last step is performing the hard reset operation to test if the phone has the proper welcome screen again (this will erase your data on the phone): press and hold the home button and the Sleep/Wake or lock button simultaneously. Hold both buttons until the iPhone device restarts.

An iPhone 5 32GB is not showing details while putting the IMEI number while checking?

I have seen an iPhone 5 32GB in the market while putting the IMEI number on the website like other sets, it is not showing full details as color, date of manufacturing, etc only showing 4 options and saying replaced. Is this the right phone to purchase or not.?

Some IMEI sites are not accurate, and you might want to call AppleCare to find out whether the phone is really replaced. After that, you can be sure that the device is really "replaced".

If the information is accurate, then it means that the phone is

  • reported to Apple as stolen;
  • reported to Apple as lost;
  • replaced by Apple (for example, a defective phone).

In any case, all of these three void any repair service for the phone. It is possible that the phone has been blacklisted by some operators as well; so, it might be not a good idea to buy it.

I have got no WiFi in my setting?

Is it fake? How can I fix it?

The first thing to check is to see if Airplane Mode is enabled. This will not display WiFi. Next, go into settings then to General. Select Reset and tap "Reset Network Settings" Finally, hold down both the Sleep and Home buttons until the screen goes black. This will restart your phone.

If it goes on Google search then what?

If it goes on Google search then what?

Any browser, including the built-in Safari, can redirect you to Google search as you type the words in the search field.

If you use Safari, then press the home button. Tap on "Settings". Scroll down and tap on "Safari". Tap on "Search Engine". Check any search engine you want.

Sony Xperia, changed the battery and no display anymore?

C6602 Xperia, changed the battery on two of them and getting no display, the black light comes on, that's it. The phone is on and getting calls and messages

Hold down the Volume - and Power buttons for 30 seconds or until your phone goes through a power cycle. You may have to try the Volume + if the power cycle does not happen. This should bring the phone screen back to life. Several Xperia users have mentioned that if their battery goes between a certain percentage the phone goes into a hypersleep mode. If you were experiencing any issues before you changed the battery then your issue may be the LCD display and not the battery. Find your product on Sony Updates and then go through their support troubleshooting options for the Xperia.

I have an iPhone 6 which I purchased from Oz around 18 months ago, I'm an Aussie living in Thailand?

I have an iPhone 6 which I purchased from Oz around 18 months ago. About 2 weeks ago I started getting vertical lines on the screen, sometimes not too bad, sometimes hard to actually see photos properly. Anyway, I took it to a repair kiosk & they quoted 2800 baht (around $100 Oz) for a non-genuine or 4500 baht (around $160 Oz) for a genuine one.. I took the genuine but have my doubts that it actually is. The screen looks okay, I know this sounds weird, but I can't see the screen when I have my Polaroid sunglasses on, which I could do before. I have looked at the settings & where before the brightness was in the middle of the range, now it has to be at its brightest otherwise the screen is too dull (even without my sunglasses). Do you think I've been ripped off or is there some other explanation. Regards, Nick. Well, the problem is specifically on the screen.

It sounds like the phone they are offering you have been reconditioned with a screen repair which is why it appears to be dim. The repair was not done properly or used poor parts. Be skeptical when purchasing an item like a phone while overseas. Laws in Thailand are lax when it comes to fake merchandise.

I am looking to buy a second hand iPad and want to make sure it isn't stolen?

I just had my previous iPad stolen so I don't want to buy a stolen one. I don't immediately see this as covered in the previous threads

You can ask for proof of the original purchase receipt. That really is the only way to certify that the tablet is not stolen. You can check with local police but if you are purchasing online, it will be hard to know where the tablet geographically originated from.

What do you mean by the button being loose, is it the making of sounds while pressing them?

I want to buy an original iPhone, but I am fearing that in Uganda I might buy a fake one because I have never used an iPhone, so I don't know how it operates. Just want to know how much tight the buttons should be in an original iPhone 7 plus

The buttons should not wiggle of you run your fingers over them. There should be some slight resistance when you are pushing a button in as if to turn the device on or off.

Cannot create apple ID account without credit card?

I kept on creating my own apple ID but I can't, it requires credit cards there is no "none" button. but according to Google you can still create apple ID without credit card, right? My situation is different from this article because this only explains the fake iPhone in its physical appearance You can only choose None when a previous payment method was added. The way to get around this is to purchase a gift card and use that. You do not have to spend the amount on the card and can then choose None. So the answer is Yes, you can set it up without a credit card, but you will need to use some form of payment like a gift card.

If you wanted the option of using an app store with no method of payment, and Android is a better option. For instance, you can connect to PayPal in Google Play or just skip setting up payment methods in the prompt when you download a free app.

My assistive touch have a late response than other assistive touch in other iPhone?

After I push the assistive touch,it went out late,like it was lagging,I make differentiate with other iPhone,I see that my assistive touch have a lagging problem,,can you solve this? It is cause by the update of 11.2.5?I want to make sure that my iPhone is original and not fake. I have tried: Tried to shut down and restart the phone,and try to compare,but still got the same results. I think it was caused by: Update iOS 11.2.5, is my phone fake or original,or is it was refurbished iPhone

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I can't turn off the shutter even thought I silent the sound already. Is it fake?

I can't turn off the shutter even thought I silent the sound already. Is it fake?. But I check the serial no. and its really registered as purchase in the apple store

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I don't want to assume, on point 5, if the apple store icon takes me to Google, is it a real one?

Is the iPhone fake or real if that happens.. . is the icon on a real one supposed to take you to Google store or not.

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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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