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How to Tell the Difference Between a Genuine and Fake Lightning Cable
Jul 05, 2018


  1. At first glance, a fake and genuine Lightning cable look almost identical, but the differences lie in the details. Up close, there are several key differences between the fake and genuine Lightning connector that tells you right off the bat which one is the real, genuine cable and which one is the knockoff.

    Lightning connector.jpg

    The clearest difference is that the genuine Lightning cable on the right has the white piece perfectly rounded in the corners, while the fake one on the left is squared off somewhat. Furthermore, the entire metal piece of the genuine connector is one single metal piece, while the knockoff is made out of several metal pieces pressed together. The knockoff version is also slightly longer than the genuine version.

  2. The USB Plug

On the USB plug end of the cables, the white plastic pieces are practically identical to one another, which can make it difficult to differentiate the two just by glancing at it. However, just like with the Lightning connector end, the differences lie in the details.

USB PLug.jpg

The only difference on the USB plug is a pretty big one. The genuine one is on the right, with the knockoff one on the left. The knockoff’s metal USB connector is a lot more grainy than the genuine one, which is perfectly smooth. This most likely has something to do with the type of metal that the USB plugs are made out of; it’s more than likely that the knockoff cable uses a cheaper metal or manufacturing process to make the plug, thus leaving a rough, grainy surface to the metal.

Serial Number and Text:

So, just by looking at both ends of the cable, you can clearly deduce which cable is the genuine one and which one is the knockoff. However, this one seals the deal. Every Apple Lightning cable comes with a serial number and text that reads, “Designed by Apple in California, Assembled in China.” Obviously, to make sure that knockoffs are as accurate as possible, they also include that same text and a serial number.
Serial Number and Text.jpg

However, as you can see from the photo above, the style and shade of the text are vastly different. The genuine cable is on the bottom and the knockoff cable is on the top. If you know the font that Apple uses on all of its products, then you can tell that the bottom one is the genuine cable. The top one sports a different font that Apple doesn’t use, as well as a darker shade of gray.

So, the next time you go out and buy a cable, look for these signs to make sure you’re buying a real, genuine Apple Lightning cable. Of course, going straight to an Apple Store or ordering one on Apple’s website will guarantee that you get a real Lightning cable, but if you’re wanting to save a little cash, you’ll definitely want to be cautious when you go out hunting for deals.

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