Where can I buy a counterfeit iPhone?
How do I recognize a counterfeit iPhone?
We recently received an iPhone from a customer who was experiencing technical problems with their device. As soon as we opened the package, we had doubts about the authenticity of the iPhone. When we then held the "iPhone" in hand, these doubts were confirmed. It was a iPhone counterfeit.
At iDoc, we deal with various smartphones every day, but we rarely get a fake between our fingers. We have therefore taken a closer look at the fake iPhone and in this blog post we give you tips on how you can recognize a fake iPhone yourself.
How do you recognize a counterfeit iPhone?
Look and feel
Apple produces its products exclusively with high-quality materials. The display is made of glass, the back cover of aluminum or glass. If you look closely, you can already feel the first difference between the original and the fake in the material.
Original iPhones produced by Apple for the European market (EMEA) have several certificates engraved on the back. For example FCC (Federal Communications Commission) or CE (Communautés Européennes). This is usually not the case with counterfeit iPhones, or they are counterfeit.
Some fakes are so good that the fraud won't be noticed by simply touching them or looking closely. However, there are other features that can be used to tell if an iPhone is counterfeit.
Operating system - iOS, or is it?
The original iOS operating system will not run on a fake iPhone. Usually only an Android system from Google was installed and optically adapted to iOS. A counterfeit iPhone can therefore not be used like an original iPhone. For example, it is not possible to call up the App Store, and a connection to iTunes cannot be established. The longtime iPhone user will also notice a difference in the font. There are also further inaccuracies in the design, including in the apps. For the first time user, however, these subtle differences are not so easy to recognize.
Online check of the serial number
The safest way to prove the authenticity of an iPhone is through the serial number. This is unique for every original Apple device.
You can easily check it online and find out the unique identifier of the model type.
You can find the serial number in the following places:
- On the back of the iPhone packaging box
- In the settings menu, under: Settings> General> Info
- On various iPhone models on the SIM card holder
- The serial number can be viewed via iTunes
Entitlement to the manufacturer's guarantee
The claim to the manufacturer's warranty from Apple can be checked with the help of the serial number here. If it is a counterfeit iPhone, the corresponding serial number is not registered with Apple and no device is displayed accordingly.
The original Apple accessories
The accessories included in the scope of delivery such as the power supply unit, the Lightning to USB cable and the EarPods or AirPods can also be checked for authenticity.
Every original Apple power supply has a serial number printed on the inside, which can be read from the outside. This serial number is often not available for replicas.
The power adapter can also tell you whether your iPhone is fake.
An Apple Lightning to USB cable has the words “Designed by Apple in California” and either “Assembled in China”, “Assembled in Vietnam” or “Indústria Brasileira” on the cable about 18 centimeters from the USB port. This is followed by a 12-digit serial number.
A fake cable (mfi, Made for iOS) or a power supply that is not certified by Apple can in the worst case cause damage to the iPhone's U2 chip.
Check not only the Apple device itself, but also your accessories to identify a counterfeit iPhone.
The same goes for Apple headphones. On the EarPods, the imprints are approx. 18 cm away from the mini-jack. With the AirPods you will find the serial number and the CE mark (EMEA) on each headphone. For more information on counterfeit or uncertified accessories, visit the official Apple website.
In addition, Apple offers an exchange program for the older 5W USB power supplies on the European market, as these can overheat in individual cases. You can find out whether a power supply unit is affected here.
What to look for before buying
When buying from an online shop, there are a few things you should consider as a buyer. In advance you can z. B. Research buyer and product reviews or forum posts about the online shop. Even a short research on the respective online shop often yields clear information about the seriousness.
Important elements such as switches, cameras, vibrations, etc. should be tested for function and ease of use before buying. To do this, you have to hold the iPhone in your hand, which is not possible with an online purchase.
To avoid buying a fake iPhone instead of an original iPhone, you should pay attention to the following points:
- Offers well below the regular retail price
- Shipping from China
- Offers on vacation on the beach
- New goods in street or used markets, even if they are originally welded
Caught a fake? Ignorance does not protect against punishment
You have now discovered that you are the owner of a counterfeit iPhone?
The German customs have the right to confiscate plagiarism. If customs find a package with plagiarism, the contents will be secured. As a customer, you will then wait in vain for the item you have bought.
In addition, the original manufacturer is informed by German customs. They can take legal action against the buyer at their own discretion. If the same consignment contains several plagiarisms, customs even assume that plagiarism is traded. In that case, you even risk a criminal complaint.
When returning from vacation, however, plagiarism for personal use has not been confiscated by customs since 2014. A different guideline applies here than for the shipment of goods.
Important to know: The resale of plagiarism is also prohibited under German law.
It is almost impossible to get to the sellers of counterfeit goods. Addresses and contact information are not known or are also falsified. If you have transferred the purchase amount yourself or paid by credit card, the money is usually gone.
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