Buying an iDevice is a huge commitment. Apple devices tend to cost more than many of their Windows or Android counterparts. Getting accessories for them also tend to be on the expensive side. So when you see a low-cost Apple cable or accessory, the odds are that you'll jump for joy and want to buy it immediately.
While we all want to save a buck, the question that needs to be asked when you see a deal on an Apple cable is "is it too good to be true?"
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How To Identify Counterfeit Apple Accessories
Apple has recently filed a lawsuit against online giant, Amazon.com, stating that almost 9 out of 10 Apple branded products (cables and accessories) sold on the website were actually counterfeit.
"Apple makes great efforts to combat the distribution and sale of counterfeit Apple products bearing its trademarks," the suit says. "Despite Apple's efforts, fake Apple products continue to flood Amazon.com."
If you can't trust Amazon.com, then how what do you do? Is there any way to know for certain whether or not the Apple branded cable that you're buying is actually an Apple approved product?
Here are a few tips from Apple:
1. Check If It's MFi Certified
Certified Apple accessories, made by third party manufacturers, will have the MFi (Made For iPhone / iPod / iPad) logo on the packaging:
If you don't see this on the packaging, then the odds are that the accessory you've purchased is not an approved Apple accessory and is most likely counterfeit.
TIP: If you're buying a USB-C to Lightning cable, then you need to know that only Apple makes these. If you see a MFi (Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad) certified USB-C to Lightning cable then that is most likely a counterfeit product.
2. Look At The Cable
An Apple Lightning to USB cable will have "Designed by Apple in California" and either "Assembled in China," "Assembled in Vietnam," or "Indústria Brasileira" on the cable about 17cm from the USB connector. You'll also see a 12-digit serial number at the end of that text.
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3. Look At The Connector
You can use the Lightning connector, USB connector, and laser etchings to identify counterfeit or uncertified Lightning accessories. Have a look at the images below of certified Apple accessories versus counterfeit or uncertified Lightning accessories.
Why Should You Care If The Cable You're Using Is Apple Certified Or Not?
According to Apple, if you use a counterfeit or uncertified Lightning accessory, you could experience the following 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