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There are numerous incidences around the world where people are be-fooled of purchasing the fake iPhone models. Since the Apple brand has emerged into something that has a high class and obviously everyone would love to own one, the rise of black market has also evolved to many folds. Once a person buys the fake device (or the second hand or stolen ones) his money is all gone and no matter how much you fight or argue with the seller your issue wouldn’t be resolved ever. Detecting every entity is impossible and so it is far much better to make an individual aware of differentiating between the real and fake devices, in order to protect oneself.

First of all check with the very basics, i.e. a few things being written on the box. Please note that the box could be sealed to convince people that the product is real and brand new but this is not necessarily be true.

1. Check for the description at the base. It must show the description like iPhone 4s (or higher version), White (or any other color like Rose Gold, Black, Gold, etc.), 16 GB (or 32 GB or 64 GB)

2. Check the model number. It should display serial number like MD239PP, MC318LL/A, etc.

3. Pay attention to the text. It must be exactly saying as “Designed by Apple in California Assembled in China”.

4. Look at the ‘Part No.’. It must be exactly the same as the model number.

5. Check the Serial No. and IMEI/MEID number. You might need to check this at the Apple’s authentic website.

Now request the shopkeeper to open the box for you since you are purchasing it anyway. Nearly all mobile shops have this facility of opening the box to show consumers the exact model. Do NOT purchase it blindly because (s)he has convinced you that it isn’t allowed to unbox it, unless it is an authentic Apple showroom. Some showrooms are authentic despite of them being not under the name of Apple and such stores do sell mobile phones belonging to other brands as well. You need to go through the consumers’ reviews. If someone says that his/her mobile phone is totally authentic and real (despite of the fact that the mobile he/she bought belongs to a different brand) chances are the mobile phones belonging to Apple brand that that particular shop keeps are authentic as well.

Also note that Apple does not have deals, discounts and special offers unless the device is a second hand and is sold in websites like OLX. Only countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, etc. sell at nearly half of the total amount since these are super rich countries and no tax is taken. If you find out any website or shop that is asking you to pay very less amount of penny, do NOT trust it at all. Apple has a standard and fixed price. Only the lower versions, say iPhone 4, 4s, etc. have reduced their price.

Check for the scratches and ensure that the device is all covered with plastic from both front and back sides. The box must have phone accessories all covered. The device has all of its edges evenly cut. It also has a manual, Apple sticker, SIM card ejector, charger, USB cable and earphones (in case if it is not iPhone 7 that supports only wireless earphones and that too need to be purchased separately at present). The accessories do not have a plastic-like low quality appearance. In case of iPhone 5s you must expect ear-buds, instead of earphones that other Apple phones have. Check the camera quality. Apple devices are known for possessing significant quality camera. The fake one will appear dull to you. If you are buying it for the first time and do not have much idea about this factor, simply take one of your friends who has this device already. He/she will be able to help you out in this, in fact in most aspects that you are looking for.

All the buttons and switches must have a crisp feeling while you switch them. At the back of each iPhone device there is always a metallic Apple logo (above) plus a metallic display “Designed by Apple in California Assembled in China” (below). Eject the SIM tray and look for the serial no. and IMEI display that is supposed to be shown on the system tray if the models are either of these – iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4s. For others the information is shown at Apple support. The serial no. and IMEI must be the exact match as of printed at the bottom of box.

Note that the device detects the availability of network immediately right after the SIM card is inserted by you. It specifically finds out what kind of network is there like 3G, EDGE, etc. Check for inbuilt Apps like iCloud, iTunes, Siri, etc. The iCloud, iTunes Store and App Store must not be login-ed in advance. This ensures that you are the new user. Presence of Google apps like docs, Play Store, etc. or any other foreign application indicates that the device is a complete fake. Checking for Siri and finding out its absence is a surefire way of detecting that the phone is fake. Siri is an Artificial Intelligence application that is provided by Apple itself and nobody can copy it at all.

Using the USB cable connect the iPhone with your laptop, ensuring that iTunes is not opened yet. Let the laptop detect the device and iTunes open automatically. Look at the basic information like battery status, memory capacity, serial number, etc. which will be shown on the iTunes’ iPhone dashboard. The serial no. written over there also should match the bottom of the box and/or SIM tray.

Check for the warranty. If the seller hesitates to provide you any authentic information regarding it, stop-relying it. You can check this detail at Apple Support page where you simply need to enter the iPhone’s serial no. It must NOT show the expiry date until you activate it. If you notice the expiry date written over there then the device has been already unpacked, used and resealed.

Open the iPhone Phone App, dial this exact code (in bold) – *3001#12345#* and press call button. You will notice that the upper left corner which was showing you the bars of network signal strength will get converted to some numerical value, thereby indicating that the device is real and not fake. The fake device won’t do this.

By collecting as many information as possible I concluded that checking for certain things ensures that we won’t be fooled in any way. Details like IMEI number, serial no., device no. etc. on the device as well as on the authentic website is very informative. This helps in finding out whether or not the phone is fake or stolen. Also the presence of only those applications that Apple supports like iTunes, iCloud, Safari browser, Siri, etc. and absence of Google apps or any other apps helps a lot to detect the genuineness of the device. The Apple devices don’t get hanged at all. These don’t need to be refreshed or re-started over and over again like many other android smart phones. The processing speed is way too good than any other device. So, after going through everything be assured that you have the genuine phone.