How to Check if iPhone is Original, Fake, or Refurbished (2023)

When you’re getting the brand new iPhone from an official Apple Store or their authorized sellers, there’s no need to go through the hassle of verifying your purchase. But if you’re considering buying from unofficial or new sources, it’s a different story. You’ve got to check if iPhone is Original or Fake, and be extra cautious to ensure you’re getting the real deal and not a counterfeit or a pre-owned iPhone.

Fortunately, there are ways to verify the credibility of your iPhone. Let’s take a look at some of them!

How to Check if iPhone is Original, Fake, or Refurbished

Let’s take a look at 3 broad ways for you to check whether you got the wrong hand or not:

1. Check Serial Number of iPhone

Your phone’s serial number can very well act as a unique fingerprint that you can use for yourself to identify whether your phone is the real deal or not:

i. Navigate to Settings > General

check if iPhone is original, fake or refurbished

ii. Subsequently, click on About to get information about your device.

Check if iPhone is Original

iii. Copy the Serial Number from the Serial Number mentioned in the menu.

iv. Open any browser of your choice, and go to Checkcoverage.apple.com

v. Input the serial number that you copied above from the Settings menu and paste it.

Check if iPhone is Original

vi. The next page shows the phone name, model and serial number. It also shows a green checkmark that signals the iPhone is valid along with a bunch of other information.

2. Check Model Number of iPhone

At times, sellers may try to pass off refurbished iPhones as brand new, offering them at lower prices. But you can easily differentiate between a refurbished and a new iPhone by its model number. Follow the following steps:

i. Go to Settings > General > About.

ii. Look for the model number, typically something like “MQ3D2HN/A.” The first letter in the model number reveals the device’s nature:

  • M indicates a brand new iPhone.
  • F denotes a refurbished device.
  • R signifies a replacement device.
  • P represents a personalized device.

If your iPhone’s model number doesn’t contain any of these letters, it’s likely a fake iPhone. If you’re purchasing from unauthorized sellers, confirm that the model number starts with M before completing your purchase.

3. Check IMEI Number

Each phone comes with a unique IMEI number. You can easily discover your iPhone’s IMEI by dialing *#06# on the keypad. Alternatively, go to Settings, then About, and finally General to find the IMEI number. It’s also conveniently printed on the back of the box. (For the specific location of the IMEI number on various models, refer to Apple’s Support Page )

For older iPhone models, you’ll find the IMEI number printed on the SIM tray. Most iPhones and other iOS devices also feature the IMEI number on the device’s back. If you can’t locate the IMEI number in any of these mentioned places, it’s a strong indicator that your iPhone might not be genuine.

Check if iPhone is Original

4. Check System iPhone Apps

iPhones typically come loaded with default apps like Wallet, Health, Books, Safari, Clock, and iTunes, among others. Verify if your iPhone has all these default apps. If you notice a few apps are missing or spot discrepancies in the app logos or spellings, it’s a strong indication that the iPhone may be a clone and not an authentic one.

5. Check Siri On iPhone

Check the Siri on your iPhone and see if it works worse than usual 🙂
Check for any odd behaviors or red flags, and you can try out the other ways if it feels like it.

6. Apple logo

Every genuine iPhone has the iconic Apple logo on its back. Counterfeit iPhone manufacturers have become increasingly better at replicating this logo, but there’s an easy way to distinguish the real from the fake.

Simply run your finger gently over the Apple logo. If you don’t detect any transition or edges between the logo and the cover, it’s likely an original iPhone. In contrast, if you feel any irregularities, it’s a likely indicator that the iPhone might be fake.

7. Physical Appearance

Apple iPhones follow a certain design pattern that can be used to identify them. For instance, none of the iPhones feature a memory card slot, so if you have one on your phone, it ain’t iPhone. You can do the same for the rest, and identify the fake ones right off the bat.

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Wrap Up

Fake iPhones are a real pain, and the best way to avoid them altogether is to buy from legit sources (Apple, Amazon, etc). However, if you do end up buying one, be sure to go through this guide to verify the authenticity of your phone.

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