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I recently bought online a charging cable for my iPhone. In the description of the item, the seller wrote "Apple Brand", which is what I was trying to purchase.

However, there are a couple of things that make me think this cable might not be made by Apple:

  1. No Apple logo on the product

    enter image description here

  2. Cardboard holder

    enter image description here

  3. Oddly printed guide books

    enter image description here

    enter image description here

  4. Disclaimer on the cable printed at approx. 4 inches from the USB port, seems to read "Designed by Apple in Califomia Assembled in China Fov 5222F2KA HW"

enter image description here

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  1. Detail of the USB

enter image description here

  1. Detail of the Lightning

enter image description here

For me, the difference is trivial. But in order to properly give the seller a rating, I'd love to know if they sold me what they pretended to sell or not.

If Apple cables have a certified chip inside, it should be easy to know?

Edit: In editing this question after getting a lot of comments, I retook better pictures of the cable and ruled out possibilities of bad kerning on "Califomia". I genuinely couldn't see well the first time and thought other Apple cables could have gotten badly kerned as well. (Disclaimer: I worked for Apple in the past and live in "Califomia" lol).

  • 1
    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – nohillside Jul 5 '18 at 18:59
  • Please use the chat for further discussions – nohillside Jul 5 '18 at 19:00

10 Answers 10

45

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that imho, anything claiming to be designed in "Califomia" is not a genuine Apple product :3

Apple's official article -- Identify counterfeit or uncertified Lightning connector accessories -- may help you confirm my suspicions.

For those not liking hidden links the full address of the Apple article above is https://support.apple.com/ht204566

  • 6
    Thanks for the guide, upvote for that! The font on the cable also looks wrong. – fsb Jul 4 '18 at 20:18
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    The phraae "Designed by Apple in California, assembled in China" appears on several Apple products I own, including my iPhone charger and MacBook Pro. Also, the cord that came with my iPhone does not have an Apple logo on it. This part might be genuine. – Wes Sayeed Jul 4 '18 at 22:24
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    @WesSayeed "CaliforMia" – Alexander Jul 4 '18 at 22:31
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    @Alexander Ohhhh you're right. I did not see that, nor did I pick up the misspelling in the answer either. LOL. I'll delete my answer. – Wes Sayeed Jul 4 '18 at 22:49
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    "rn" -> "m" is a fairly standard kerning failure. Might not mean anything. – Roger Lipscombe Jul 5 '18 at 7:31
19

Apple's guide is quite long and a detailed picture of the lightning connector should show the quality regardless of the color or font.

That being said, the fonts here show this as a fake. Notice the similarity between the rn in California and m in assembled. I'd have to see it in person but unless this is a really distorted picture, they are appear too similar to be a genuine cable.

This is a fake cable and OP should request a return. Apple has a habit of updating a list of unauthorised accessories with their software updates so that your non MiFi cable stops charging your phone without warning. Certain cables can be bricked by the phone so they no longer charge devices running lower iOS versions as well.

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    But is there also a software way to test the MiFi-ness of a cable? – MicroMachine Jul 5 '18 at 6:53
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    Other than waiting to see, nothing I can think of. Apple's repair site lists visual inspection as the only way to diagnose cables. My repair tool doesn't recognize your S/N but I have never tried entering a valid USB cable S/N before, so it might not recocgnize any USB cables. – m8377 Jul 5 '18 at 7:01
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    @m8377 No, this is a good answer, and deserves answership. Don't use comments for answers ;) (+1) – Cullub Jul 5 '18 at 21:46
12

I'd guess genuine:

  1. No Apple logo: none of my (genuine, coming with an iPhone or iPad) cables have the logo.

  2. Cardboard holder: Apple do use cardboard holders for those cables, including the one in your photo.

  3. I don't see what's odd on the guide books, I have the same as the one on the left on your photo (except mine don't have staple) that came with an old USB to 30 pin cable, purchased directly from Apple.

  4. Yes the "m" in the mention is suspicious but it could simply be bad kerning.

So your best option is to use the guide linked by @Scottmeup in his answer. There's enough distinctive details to come to a definitive conclusion.

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    Bad keming....? – user2397282 Jul 5 '18 at 10:06
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    I’m sceptical about the keming but I agree about the other points: to be honest I don’t even know what OP means. – Konrad Rudolph Jul 5 '18 at 12:43
  • @theonlygusti Everyone makes mistakes at times, but what's great about this site is that mistakes can always be rectified by anyone. Thank you for rectifying the problem, but don't forget to keep in mind the ‘be nice’ policy; even if you think something is blatantly out of place, focus on the action and the remedy (the edit). Edit summaries are intended to summarise the reason for the edit taking place, and as such I almost rejected your edit since I didn't understand why the edit was necessary. – grg Jul 6 '18 at 20:22
  • Hey people - sorry if I messed up. I thought I had a good grasp on what JFL was putting out there and clearly missed the mark. Thanks for pitching in and fixing my error @theonlygusti . In the future if anyone wants to avoid this sort of edit - answer the question directly as opposed to countering some other un-named and un-linked answers. Linking to specific answers would make it much harder to make a bad edit. I take all responsibility for the bad edit, nonetheless. – bmike Jul 6 '18 at 22:21
10

Fake. Aside from the other things people have noted (rn/m substitution, wrong serial number format, shoddy paperwork, etc), the font on the cable is a dead giveaway. Apple's standard corporate font has been Myriad since 2002. The fake cable is using Arial.

enter image description here

The typesetting of the serial number is also wrong. The genuine cable moves to a smaller font with double kerning and centered vertical alignment with respect to the preceding text.

5

I would suggest the cable is likely fake, although nearly everything in the original post matches my genuine cable. I have (what I believe to be) a genuine apple cable wth similar markings, however the “rn” appears to be kerned correctly, and the font for the id number appearing after “Assmebled in China” is using a different font. Note that I’ve increased the contrast of the image slightly to make the printing clearer.

Apple lightning cable printed info

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    Your picture also illustrates that a genuine cable's serial number has "FOV" in all caps, where OP's counterfeit has "Fov" with only an initial capital. – Doktor J Jul 6 '18 at 16:51
2

Apple Lightning to USB cables may not have been produced recently enough to contain certification devices ("MFi chips") such as you had hoped this one might. That said, the information you provide clearly indicates the cable in your possession does not meet Apple's guidelines for identification as an Apple-manufactured Lightning to USB cable.

Lightning to USB cables made by Apple and sold by them as aftermarket accessories bear the legend "Designed by Apple in California" and either "Assembled in China," "Assembled in Vietnam," or "Indústria Brasileira" on the cable itself. This text is followed by a 12-character serial number comprising a mixture of digits and uppercase-only letters, with no spaces between them. Since the serial number on your cable contains lower case letters, a space, and 13 characters, there is no possibility it is genuine.

Did the seller know he was selling counterfeit parts? That's hard to know. The question now is, what does he do when he finds out?

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the cable is grey in the photo, the equivalent Apple cable is white. It also does NOT have any "designed in Califomia, made in China" printed on it.

So that makes it an almost certain fake on 2 counts, not just the faulty spelling of California.

I should know, I'm looking at 2 of them right now I happen to own that came with Apple equipment.

Also, the stapling of the paperwork seems shoddy, far more so than any similar paperwork I've ever seen in a genuine Apple box. Could be a fluke, but another red flag especially in combination with the others.

And yes, it matters. While the cable itself isn't that problematic, fake chargers are often extremely dangerous.

0

First of all, the font used on the cable is rather suspicious. Second, the M in California is obviously suspicious as well. I don't believe they come with cardboard wrapping. The gold that should be on the USB doesn't really look that good. As for the serial number, it's supposed to be a 12-digit one.

I think that your best guide for this would be https://support.apple.com/en-gb/ht204566. Many others are talked about it too. Your best bet. <3

Thank you
Steve.

0

This what my connector looks like, the serial number is only 8 enter image description here

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I think it's genuine. I live in Califomia. You guys don't know anything.

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

  • Seriously why downvote this? – Zac Jul 6 '18 at 21:57

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