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Can you detect a counterfeit?

Learn about the problems that can be caused by uncertified or fake charging cables and how to identify them at all.

Apple recommends that you use only certified accessories that come with the "Made for iPod / iPhone / iPad" logo.

If you are using a fake or uncertified Lightning cable, you may experience the following issues:
•    Your iOS device could be damaged
•    The cable can be easily damaged
•    The connector terminal may fall out, overheat, or may not fit properly in the device
•    You may not be able to sync or charge your device

Compare the packaging and the inscription on the cable

Carefully inspect the packaging of the accessory as well as the accessory itself. Certified third-party accessories have the MFi logo on the packaging. Apple's Lightning cable reads "Designed by Apple in California" and either "Assembled in China", "Assembled in Vietnam" or "Indústria Brasileira" approximately 17.8 cm (7 inches) from the USB connector. You can see the 12-digit serial number at the end of this text.


A certified third-party Lightning cable usually has its mark on the end of the connector.

Carefully inspect the connectors

You can use the Lightning connector or the USB connector to identify non-certified or counterfeit accessories. The images below show a comparison of Apple-certified accessories with counterfeit or non-counterfeit accessories, there are only a few counterfeits. Others are also existing.


Image: terminal with Lightning connector (Apple certified on the left, non-certified on the right)

As you can see, the end of the Apple-certified Lightning cable has smooth, straight, symmetrical rounded individual grooves, the overall insert has a uniform width and length (7.7mm x 12mm) and has a gray/metallic finish. In contrast, the Lightning end of a non-certified or counterfeit cable has grooved or inconsistently terminated grooves, more angular at the ends, and an uneven surface. The tips are also of variable length, width, or thickness and the insert has a white or black surface.

Image: USB connector (Apple certified on the left, non-certified on the right)

Several discrepancies can also be observed on the USB connector. With the certified Apple USB connector, the latches of the USB box are trapezoidal in shape and the edges fit evenly together, the contacts are gold-plated, the surface of the USB box is flat, smooth, and consistent, and the surface of the USB connection insulator is uniform and smooth. For counterfeit and non-certified USB connectors, there are rectangular latches on the USB box that are inconsistent, the contacts are silvered, the surface of the USB connector is rough or uneven, the box may have a latch or stopper, and it has grooves or notches in the USB isolator.

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