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How to Tell if an iPhone is an Original

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. October 2, 2023
How to Tell if an iPhone is an Original

Especially with the latest model of the iPhone, counterfeiting is becoming an increasingly big problem. It is a problem for telecommunications companies who are facing competition for their product, but it is an important problem for the consumer. Not only might you pay a lot of money for a fake iPhone, but the product will not work and you are left with no warranty. iPhones are smartphone devices which are sold at a high premium. This market value is both due to its effectiveness as a product and its popularity as a status symbol. These kinds of products are the most susceptible to piracy and faking.

At oneHOWTO, we discover how to tell if an iPhone is an original. We look at the key differences between real vs. fake iPhones to help the consumer ensure they are not being ripped off with shoddy merchandise.

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  1. How to know if an iPhone is original before I buy
  2. Is my iPhone real or fake?
  3. How to find out the IMEI of the iPhone
  4. How to check iPhone operating system

How to know if an iPhone is original before I buy

You should start to wonder if an iPhone is real before you even look at the product. This is because where you purchase the smartphone should give some indication of whether it is real or fake. For example, if you purchase your product from an Apple Store, then it is practically guaranteed to be real. Apple Stores are large buildings in the main commercial areas of shoppings and towns that have workers known as ‘geniuses’ who will help you.

Other reputable stores will also sell iPhones, but you should check online if you think a store is not legitimate. If you think it looks dodgy, it possibly is.

The main problem comes when we buy iPhones either secondhand or from the Internet. There are many small electronic shops which will restore and resell used iPhones. They may not be as big as an Apple Store, but if they have had a specific location for a certain length of time, it would not make sense to sell fake products. It would not take long for the police to shut them down if they did.

However, when selling online, it is very easy to make a fake account. Scammers can setup a page for a product without evening having a fake one to sell. You simply give them your credit card details, they take the money and don't do anything. They may even take more money if they have your credit card details. This occurs

If you think a website selling iPhones is fake, simply check it with a service such as Scam Advisor. There, you can enter the link and they will tell you if it is likely legitimate.

Some scammers work on other sites such as Facebook Marketplace or similar secondhand markets. These can be more difficult to check. Always look for reviews and do not give your details unless you are completely sure.

Is my iPhone real or fake?

Once you have actually purchased an iPhone, you will want to know if it is original or fake. There are two main types of fake iPhone:

  • Those that have some real parts and use a real Apple iOS
  • Those that are completely fake and use a fake operating system

Fake iPhones of the second type are the most common. This is why we need to look for the IMEI of the device. The IMEI is the International Mobile Equipment Identity number. This is a unique code which products need to prove they are legitimate. It is unique to each device and should be on the original box. It will also be found in the settings of an original iPhone.

Fake iPhones will have parts which are replaced and so the IMEI numbers will not match up. To find out if an iPhone is original or not, you must test the device and detect if the software responds sluggishly. This should not happen on a new phone. You will have to check the device's serial number on the Apple website through which you can verify the official status of any iPhone.

How to Tell if an iPhone is an Original - Is my iPhone real or fake?

How to find out the IMEI of the iPhone

The IMEI is essential to discover if an iPhone is original or not. To find out, you can do it from various places such as on the physical device, in Settings, in iTunes, in Finder or the original packaging. Once you obtain the IMEI to verify if the iPhone is original or fake, you will have to communicate directly with Apple.

At this moment, you must give the IMEI number to Apple's direct technical support to verify the authenticity of your iPhone. To discover this serial number or the IMEI of the device, we recommend following these steps:

  1. Go to Settings and select the General section.
  2. When accessing General, enter the Information option and look for the IMEI or serial number of the device.
  3. Normally, you must scroll down the iPhone screen to locate the IMEI in Information, also identified as the serial number.

Accessing the iPhone, you can also find the IMEI in the SIM tray, although this option is only available on some devices.

Another way to find out the IMEI of the iPhone is by searching directly on appleid.apple.com from any web browser and logging in with your Apple ID used on the device. From there, you must access the Devices section and select the iPhone to check if it is original or not.

How to Tell if an iPhone is an Original - How to find out the IMEI of the iPhone

How to check iPhone operating system

It is possible that a fake smartphone is very similar to an iPhone. It may have a lock screen and application icons identical to those on iOS. However, they could never have the brand's official operating system because it is not software open to the public. This implies that, when opening the applications, the system you will use will be Android.

Counterfeiters achieve this through a modified version of Android, including a customization layer that looks like iOS. In this sense, to verify the operating system of your iPhone, you just have to open the Apple Store application. From there, you can check if it is the iOS interface and does not open the Android Google Play interface.

One of the tips that may be very obvious when checking the iPhone operating system is not to fall into the temptation of great offers. If you find a latest generation iPhone at a much lower price compared to its market value, the chances that it is fake will be high.

In short, we recommend downloading and opening the installed applications to check if the device runs it from iOS or Android. If you do it from iOS, your iPhone will be original, but if the process is from Android, it will be fake.

Now that you've discovered how to tell if an iPhone is real vs. fake, you may want to know how to factory reset your iPhone or how to hide apps on an iPhone or iPad.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Tell if an iPhone is an Original, we recommend you visit our Electronics category.

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How to Tell if an iPhone is an Original