📱 How do I know if my iPhone is a clone?

Each time that a high-end phone that sells a lot is released, like an iPhone, Samsung, LG, or any other similar brand, the Chinese market and other companies specialized in making rip-off brands begin to work in making low quality clones. Any best-seller is also going to have its own best-selling fake version.

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How to detect an iPhone clone? Well, we need to know that there are two types of clones.

Is my iPhone original? Types of iPhone clones

The first iPhone clone that we are going to talk about is a terminal with the appearance of an iPhone. It is an almost 1-to-1 replica of an iPhone, but running on the Android operating system. It is an iPhone clone, but made by any other brand other than Apple.

There are also iPhone replicas built on recycled pieces of other iPhones. Even though they have components made by Apple, we will still call them clones since it is an assembly of older components and/or flawed components, so, for our purposes, we will also consider it a rip-off.

You have to be very careful because, at first glance, these rip-off phones look practically the same as an iPhone.

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How to quickly detect an iPhone clone

Before you read any further, we will tell you that if you can read the IMEI of the device, which should be on the back of it, and said IMEI is the same that appears on the system´s settings (Settings > General > Information,) there are only a few remaining things to check. If both IMEIs are not the same, it´s either a fake phone, or it has been reassembled using pieces from other iPhones.

The next step would be to check the serial number. This can be done by going on Settings > General > Information. We will copy it, and then we will go to Apple´s website (https://checkcoverage.apple.com). If the iPhone is fake, an error message will show up. But, if it´s an authentic iPhone, the serial number will appear as valid, and we will be able to see the warranty´s information.

 

find fake iphone serial number

External verification

We will give a series of tips that will be more focused to iPhone 7 phones that may appear frequently on sale and that could be at really low prices, since the most sold iPhones right now are the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X. However, these tips may also apply to older iPhones.

One of the details that we could observe is the frontal button. (This is valid for iPhone 7 and on.) If the button is a physical one, we can be certain that the device is a clone, since, beginning from this version, the button was replaced with a digital one. The new button is not physical, even if it may vibrate to give us feedback that we pressed it.

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Another thing that we should check is the back cover. IPhones have a smooth surface with a metallic texture. It should feel like premium material. Clone devices, even if you may not notice it at first, after a while of manipulating then, you may notice that the cover is made out of plastic. This plastic will have a metallic texture, but it won´t feel the same as an original iPhone. A foolproof test would be to scratch them a bit with something, and then you would notice what I´m trying to tell you. But of course…this isn´t a test that we could do to any device.

Another aspect to check is the flash. Beginning from the iPhone 7, the flash has a double color. It is comprised of an orange light and a white light. In clones, as good as they may be, this could be easily noticed. This happens because clones do not come with this feature, so they need to replicate it, such as by using stickers or any other thing.

Physical buttons: power, volume, and hold. Although the location of the buttons on the device tend to have the exact measures, we may still notice the finish. Buttons in original iPhones are quite solid and are well attached to the phone. In iPhone clones, the buttons tend to be loose and they may move a lot. If you put your fingers on them, you could see them move, and you may even hear a characteristic sound.

As we have mentioned before, there are iPhones that are built from other recycled iPhones, so that we may not notice anything on its appearance when the device starts giving out problems. It could be that a circuit may be flawed, or that any other component may not work as it should. To notice this, you would have to turn on the phone, and use it for a while to check that it runs smoothly, that it does not overheat, and that it does not become slow while using it.

Software aspects

Now, we will speak about the software of fake iPhones that run on an Android system with a software layer that emulates iOS.

In these devices, we will see the typical Apple logo on the start screen as expected. But, we need to pay attention and let it load everything. The lock screen and the home screen also look like an original iPhone.

 

how to detect cloned iphone

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These copies that are made over an Android operating system tend to take a long time to load or boot. This does not have anything to do with Android, and we will not discuss on this article about which system is better. But what is true is that these copies do not have an optimized system for the hardware that they are running on, so the performance tends to be quite poor. Of course, the most recent versions of Android do not come included. Instead, you could get phone clones with Android versions as old as version 4.

Although the system may be almost identical to the original phone in appearance, there are many apps in which we could check if we are using an iPhone clone, so that we could detect a fake phone.

Telltale apps

The first one is the App Store. This could be a foolproof test. Even though the icon may be the same, when you open it, it would normally open Google Play instead. This could go unnoticed by a novice user, but, if you have ever used an iPhone, you will easily notice it.

Try to use Siri by pressing and holding the button. These cheap Chinese copies made on Android cannot execute Siri because it does not exist on Android.

Preinstalled apps: they could come with apps such as Twitter, but with a different look and feel. Normally, we could search this app, and compare it to look for strange behavior.

Settings: This test is not as definitive since, depending on the iOS version of the device or which device you´re using, this may not work. But we will check this anyway. If, for instance, we go to

Settings -> General -> Information -> About

we would notice something strange.

Although the information shown may be the same, if we try to zoom-in on the information, we will (generally) not be able to. On iPhones, the screen allows you to zoom-in on it.

Hardware aspects

3D touch: From iPhone 6s and on, we can enjoy 3D Touch (https://developer.apple.com/ios/3d-touch/). 3D Touch is a technology from Apple that makes it possible to distinguish among many ways of touching the screen, depending on how we press it, and have different functionalities. For instance, if you press hard on the Settings icon, direct links to different functionalities will appear. This will rarely be included in a clone. You may see similar features, but it won´t work as smoothly as the original phones.

Fingerprint detector: This is harder to verify sine, to do this, you need to configure it beforehand. And, if you have previously seen the iOS configuration setup, you will immediately notice that you are not using an original Apple device. Anyway, what normally happens is that the fingerprint detector may not work, or that it does not come included on the first place.

Tests for the most pro users

Normally, iPhones have a specific sequence in which you have to press its buttons to put the device on recovery mode. The best way to do this is to go Apple´s support website (https://support.apple.com/) to check the exact sequence to enter this mode on the device. Taken straight from Apple´s website, according to the iPhone´s version, we can enter recovery mode by doing this:

In an iPhone X, and on different versions of iPhone 8: press and quickly release the button that increases volume. Press and quickly release the button that turns the volume down. Then, keep pressing the side button until you see the screen “connect to iTunes”.
On iPhone 7 versions: press and hold the side button and the button to lower the volume at the same time. Keep pressing them until you see the screen “connect to iTunes.”
On an iPhone 6 and previous versions: press and hold the home button and the upper (or side) button at the same time. Keep pressing them until you see the screen “connect to iTunes.”

We will leave you a video about iPhone 6 with a much more detailed overview in another time.

How to Spot a Fake iPhone

 

Conclusion

Con artists are always waiting for their next victim. “There ain´t no such thing as a free lunch” .

The best you can do is that, if you have any questions or if you think that the phone is too good to be true, the phone may be fake. Do net be influenced by a pushy salesperson, and take your time to make sure that you are buying an authentic iPhone, and not a clone, regardless of whether it´s a good clone or not. Also, even though we haven´t talked about it on this article, make sure that the phone is not blocked on iCloud!

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