nyone can easily be duped if they aren’t cautious when purchasing anything, let alone an iPhone. It might even be that you’ve been using a bootlegged model all this time without even knowing it. It’s getting more and more difficult to distinguish an original iPhone from a clone unit. While it may be okay for some (money-wise) to get a fake one, but it could be detrimental in the long run: things like malfunctioning iOS, inability to upgrade the firmware, non-functioning buttons, display issues, and low-quality batteries are just some problems victims face. Being wise and knowing how to tell an original iPhone from a fake is definitely an asset everyone needs these days.
As technology progresses, some fake iPhones are replicated so well that they are physically almost identical to an original iPhone. And nowadays, you can go online and order an iPhone without ever getting to make sure if what you bought is the real deal. Before you know it, you own a counterfeit iPhone. If you are procuring an iPhone from a classified ad, or some dealer that isn’t a registered Apple dealer, OR you already have an iPhone, use this guide to determine if the gadget in front of you is, in fact, a real iPhone.
Here are some guidelines to help you tell whether you have an original iPhone or a fake one. Observe not only the physical cues, but the system’s functionalities as well. Take the following steps to verify its authenticity.
1. Obvious Physical Indicators
The Serial Number
This is the first sure-fire way to see if you have an original iPhone. The gadget’s serial number can be found in various places within and without of your device. For now, check for the device’s digits either at the back and below the logo or in the SIM card tray. The serial number SHOULD match the numbers at the bottom part of the box.
The Buttons and Switches
Aside from their obvious placements, feel and press the buttons to see if they are not detached or have a plastic, poor button feel to them.
Check the Screws
The original iPhone uses the “pentalobe security screw” while the replicas just use the normal cross ones. From its name, Apple’s screws have five nicks on its head, providing an anti-tamper system. This is one good indicator to ensure that you have an original iPhone.
The Metallic Apple Logo
You ought not to miss this, for obvious reasons. You should be able to see the logo form the original case when you run your fingers down the back of an original iPhone.
2. Your iPhone’s Performance
Switch It On and Check the Screen
An original iPhone’s screen has retina display meaning it looks crispier and vibrant. Fake ones have a dull-coloured display.
Check the Welcome Screen
If you’re getting one brand new, there should be a prompt saying “Hello, Welcome to iPhone” to which you can tap on “Get Started”. This can only happen once after doing the necessary steps to personalise your iPhone. Try to turn it off then turn it back on again. A fake iPhone will have a “Welcome” message while the original iPhone will just show you the Apple logo.
Check the Serial Number Again
From the Home screen, go to Settings, then tap on General, and go to About.
Check if the Model, Serial, and IMEI numbers are the same as with the SIM tray and from the box.
Or, type in the serial number at “https://selfsolve.apple.com/agreementWarrantyDynamic.do”. If you receive messages like "We're sorry, but this serial number is not valid” or “Please check your information and try again," it probably isn’t an original iPhone.
Look for the Cloud
Make sure that it isn’t logged-in yet. If you’re the first owner, then well and good. But if you notice that someone else has logged in before, then it might be a fake, or even worse, stolen.
The Camera Quality
Original iPhones have higher camera grade while the fake ones just take bad photos. Try the other camera modes including video recording as well while you’re at it.
The Multi-Tasking Capabilities
Open the Music app then leave a track playing in the background. Then open another application and see how the phone does. Original iPhones run smoothly even if multiple applications are being used.
Check the Memory Capacity
The original iPhone has a fixed storage capacity. The fake ones have a memory card slot which allows you to expand the gadget’s memory.
The iPhone Field Test Mode
Simply dial this code *3001#12345#* and press Call. When done right, your iPhone now will continue to the Field Test mode. Look at the upper left side of your iPhone screen display and notice that the signal indicator now changed to numerical values. Your phone is fake if this didn’t happen. And if you want to have the old signal bar display back, just press the home button.
Check the Built-In Applications
The original iPhone should have the built-in Apple applications, such as Compass, Calculator, Music, Facetime, Weather, Safari, Wallet, iBooks, and Photos to name a few. If one of those is missing, try to restore the original firmware. If some application is still missing after resetting, then it’s a clone iPhone.
The Carrier Connectivity
Make sure that your iPhone connects to your service provider automatically once you turn it on. If it connects to another service provider other the one from which you subscribe to, then you have a replica.
Check if WIFI is Working / Network Connectivity
All original iPhone models should be able to connect to Wi-Fi, 3G, LTE and Bluetooth. If you purchase an iPhone that cannot link to one of these networks, it is likely a fake or manufactured elsewhere.
Plug the iPhone into a laptop or computer to ensure that iTunes is not logged-in yet. Upon plugging in, the iTunes program should automatically open. iTunes should display some data on the phone like the memory capacity, battery status, your SIM mobile phone number, and serial number. Again, to check if an iPhone is original or a duplicate, the serial number here should match everywhere else we discussed earlier. Also, if you are not able to sync the data between the phone and iTunes, then the iPhone may not be an original.
Siri is a unique application solely for Apple original iPhones and iPads. Siri only comes with the iOS system. Siri does not work at all on a fake iPhone, or even worse, absent. You can use your voice to operate your iPhone through Siri. Normally, Siri does what you ask her to do.
6. Other Tips
Pay Attention to the Price
If the unit is being sold far cheaper than an original iPhone's suggested price, then think twice. If the price is too good to be true, chances are, it is.
iPhones are getting more and more popular. If it is your dream phone, then you have to be more watchful with its features and functions. The tips above are just some of the ways to check if an iPhone is original or fake. It all still falls in the hands of the consumer if they will allow themselves to be fooled by scrupulous iPhone dealers.
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