How to Identify iPhone Lightning Charging Cable Is Genuine or Counterfeit
How to Identify iPhone Lightning Charging Cable Is Genuine or Counterfeit
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At first glance, it is hard to identify a counterfeit data cable from a genuine iPhone cable. This article guides you on how to identify an authentic and Apple-certified iPhone cable against fake ones. You will also learn the effects of using non-certified Lightning cables.

With the influx of cheap and genuine-looking but copycat iPhone cables, it’s hard to know the original from the fake. However, there are tell-tale signs that you can use to identify a genuine iPhone cable from a fake one. The information below is the things you need to know to distinguish the real ones from the fakes.

Distinguish real and fake chargers

Genuine chargers will have many types of pins depending on where they come from. The 3-pin type is usually produced in Asian countries such as Singapore, and Hong Kong; 2 round legs are usually European goods such as France, and Vietnam market; the flat-legged type is from the Americas such as the US and Canada; 2 crossed flat legs (Australian goods like Australia).

Based on the origin printed on the charger and the shape of the plug, users can determine if it is a real or fake product.

Besides, the external appearance of the charging cable also shows what is genuine and what is fake. Genuine iPhone chargers usually have very standard, even cut edges, do not deviate, or have three vias, the parameters printed on the charger must be sharp, not dark, and confused. Parameters are usually not too bold.

Fake chargers often have unsightly cut edges, power socket contacts are usually very shiny, not dull like genuine chargers, and the print is not clear, sometimes dark or light.

Effects of Using Fake iPhone Cables

Fake charger quality issues can hurt your smartphone. The actual chargers come with a small fuse inside that will flame out if it overloads. It prevents fire or sparks from hitting the system or setting up the damage. Given simple safety steps, it doesn’t really matter the amperage, voltage and current, because your phone will always be frying. And when you try to save a few bucks on a charger, you could end up losing your phone altogether.

The fake charger on your phone can also decrease your battery life, or can kill your battery very badly. A counterfeit charger ‘s key preoccupation is being the cheapest on the market. Sure, quality isn’t their main objective to accomplish, so there’s a fairly good chance it’s not going to work as well as it ought. That’s what makes buying one for people-it still works, but it doesn’t have the same quality.

If you use a counterfeit or uncertified Lightning accessory, you could see these issues:

  • Your iOS device could become damaged
  • The cable might be easily damaged
  • The connector end might fall off, get very hot, or might not fit properly into your device
  • You might not be able to sync or charge your device

How to Identify Whether iPhone Lightning Charging Cable Is Genuine or Counterfeit

1. Check for the MFi

Photo: dienmayxanh
Photo: dienmayxanh

Check for the MFi badge on the packaging. The acronym stands for “MFi”, which is a tag that Apple runs a licensing program that allows third-party companies to make Apple-approved accessories.

Apple puts on its own and third-party accessories as a certification that it’s safe to be used on an iPhone, and even for iPad and iPod devices.

Since its introduction, the MFi now has a new logo. However, some accessories may use the old badge, which should still be fine.

Because Apple charges royalty fees for each MFi (Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad)-certified accessory -- approximately $4 per connector, according to Apple Insider -- these accessories tend to be more expensive. If the cable you purchased was less than $4, it's probably not a licensed third-party accessory.

2. Check writing on the cable

The first and most important thing you should look for when you want to determine if a cable is real or fake by checking if the cable has “Designed by Apple in California” text. The cables can also have the following text, all of which are signs the cable could be genuine:

  • Design by Apple in California Assembled in China
  • Design by Apple in California Assembled in Vietnam
  • Design by Apple in California Indústria Brasileira

In many instances counterfeit cables that have the text above might have spelling mistakes or other errors that you can catch quite easily if you pay attention.

Look carefully for minor mistakes and even the color of the text. On Apple’s genuine cables the text is written in very light grey and can even be difficult to find in low light.

Another thing to look for is that on genuine Lightning cable the text is written about 7 inches from the USB connector. If you find a cable that features text which is significantly more or less than 7-inches away from the USB connector, then it is most likely a counterfeit.

3. Check the Lightning head

For Apple-branded Lightning cables, check if the Lightning head has these characteristics:

The pins should be a single piece and smooth. The charger should also be rounded, and smooth, and the contacts have gold or silver contacts.

Another thing that you should look for when trying to identify if an iPhone cable is real or fake is to look for the width and length of the lightning connector boot (the white part).

On original Apple cables the boot is 7.7mm Width x 12mm length.

The faceplate insert should be gray/metallic

4. Check the USB head

Photo: Youtube
Photo: Youtube

For the Apple-branded Lightning cable, you should check if the actual USB head has these characteristics:

The interlocks should be trapezoidal and equally spaced from the edge

The USB contacts should be gold-plated

The surface should be smooth, consistent, and flat

The insulator surface should be flat and uniform

5. Check the price

This one is a personal recommendation and quite simple: check the price. A genuine Apple-branded Lightning cable retails for Php1,190. If you saw something much less than that, there’s a good chance that it’s a fake/clone.

6. Check the store

Check the store you’re purchasing it from. If you want an Apple-branded cable, you may want to purchase directly from an Apple Store or via their official website.

In the Philippines, you can get authentic Apple accessories from known distributors like the Power Mac Center or Digital Walker.

7. Color of faceplate insert

On a genuine Apple Lightning cable the color of the faceplate insert is grey/metallic. Whereas on a fake cable it is usually white or black. Looking at the faceplate insert can tell you if the cable is original or counterfeit.

8. On USB-A to Lightning cables

If the cable you want to check has a USB-A connector, then looking at the following details can also help you identify if it is real or fake.

1. On Original cables the interlocks on USB shell are trapezoidal and they are equally spaced from edge.

2. On fake cables the USB shell interlocks might have right angles and inconsistently spaced.

On original Apple cables the USB contacts are gold-plated, whereas on counterfeit cables they are usually silver plated.

3. The surface of the insulator for USB connector is flat and uniform while on fake cables it might have notches and indents.

4. On genuine Lightning cables the USB surface is smooth and consistent while the surface of the USB shell is flat. On fake cable the USB surface might be grainy.

How to buy a good quality charging cable

Invest in the company's original charging cable

To choose to buy a quality charging cable, it is best for users to spend a fortune to invest in a genuine zin charging cable instead of choosing a cheap charging cable with poor quality that reduces the battery life of the device, and is easy to cause damage. Explosion, not safe to use.

Genuine zin charging cables will cost much more, but always remember that quality always comes with a price.

Choose to buy at reputable stores

Many users encounter the situation of spending a large amount of money to find a genuine charging cable but end up receiving a fake charging cable, which causes confusion and wastes your time.

Where to get MFi-certified cables, on the cheap

Apple may have issues with many of the third-party products on Amazon.com, but Amazon actually sells its own MFi-certified AmazonBasics Lightning cables in multiple lengths. A 3-foot cable will set you back $6, while a 6-foot cable costs $8. Other MFi-certified companies include Belkin, Griffin, Moshi and Ventev Mobile.

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