How to tell if an iPhone is original

You are considering the purchase of a new iPhone , you have found one at a discounted price but, precisely for this reason, you have arisen the doubt that it may be a non-original device. Consequently, before proceeding with any finalization of the purchase, you would like to know if there is a way to dispel your doubts about it.

How do you say? The situation is precisely this and would you like me to give you a hand on what to do? I’m at your complete disposal, God forbid! Think, that was just what I intended to do today with this tutorial of mine. If you give me a few minutes of your precious free time, I can then show you how to tell if an iPhone is original or not. I assure you that, contrary to appearances and beyond what you may think, it is not difficult.

Then? What are you still doing standing there? Get comfortable and start focusing on reading everything below right away. I sincerely hope that in the end you can feel very happy and satisfied with what you have learned and that, obviously, the “iPhone by” on sale does not hide any nasty surprises.


  • Check the directions from Apple
  • Check the aesthetic and technical characteristics
  • Check the IMEI
  • Other useful operations
  • Contact Apple

Check the directions from Apple

The best method you have to check if all the components of your iPhone are original or not, is to go through the special feature implemented by Apple.

In fact, you should know that, starting from iOS 15.2 , or owners of certain iPhone models have the opportunity to take a look at the authenticity of the components .

Let me explain: if you have an iPhone XS , XS Max , XR or later ( second generation iPhone SE included), you can get information about the battery , that is, if it has been replaced or not . Furthermore, in the case of devices belonging to the iPhone 11 or later range , there is the possibility of obtaining this type of indication also for what concerns the screen . Finally, as regards the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 series , the information relating to the camera is added .

Put simply, if you have an iPhone that is all in all recent, you can take a look at what has been done during any repairs related to the smartphone, in order to understand if non-original components have been implemented inside it . Apple’s goal is in fact to avoid that non-genuine parts are used to save money, “trimming” them to the customer as original.

Furthermore, this method can also be useful in the case of buying a second-hand device , in order to verify that you have not got your hands on it in an abnormal way. Of course, for the moment the functionality is a bit limited, since only the most recent series can show indications regarding battery, display and camera, but surely it can be a great way to understand if your iPhone is original or not.

In this context, to find the information indicated, just go to the iPhone Settings (using the appropriate gear icon on the Home screen) and select the General item first and then the Info item . In this way, if in the past there have been repairs related to your device, you will notice the presence of the section dedicated to the so-called service history .

In case of anomalies , you will notice the presence of the exclamation mark symbol and the system will tell you if the component involved has been replaced with a non-original part , if what has been mounted on your device has already been used in the past on another iPhone and if the component may not work as expected . In fact, you must know that non-original parts can create problems with the smartphone, as they do not meet Apple’s quality and performance standards. In any case, if everything has been done as planned , you will notice the presence of the original Apple Part indication .

For the rest, if you have one of the models mentioned above and even after updating the iPhone to the latest version of iOS you do not see any information regarding the originality of the components, it means that your device has never been in the center. of substitutions in relation to the parties involved. Put simply, barring surprises you might encounter following the directions later in the guide, there’s a very good chance your iPhone is completely original if you don’t see anything.

For the sake of completeness, you should also know that in reality even software versions prior to iOS 15.2 can indicate whether a replacement component is original or not. However, in this case the information is much more general. In fact, it is simply made explicit if a part is unknown . For example, in some cases a pop-up may appear on the screen that contains an Important Message on the screen . For more information regarding this possibility, you may want to take a look at Apple’s official guidelines .

In any case, Apple’s move was certainly also designed with an eye on the world of do-it-yourself repairs . In fact, in November 2021 the Self Service Repair program was announced , which will allow more experienced users to work on their iPhone independently, by accessing original tools and parts (for the less experienced, however, it is always recommended in a Center Apple Authorized Assistance or in any case to certified technicians). The first devices that fall into the program are those of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 range. In short, in general, the functionality introduced with iOS 15.2 aims to guarantee users greater awareness of the components of their iPhone.

Check the aesthetic and technical characteristics

If after following the instructions in the previous chapter you still need further information on how to understand if an iPhone is original or not, perhaps because you have an older iPhone that is not part of the functionality introduced starting from iOS 15.2 or simply because you want more information, you may think to check the aesthetic and technical characteristics . In fact, although, unfortunately, there are counterfeit iPhones in circulation that are able to fully reflect the design and functions of a real iPhone, it is still necessary to pay attention to some specific details which, in the case of a non-original device, may differ. Below you can find a list of some important features.

  • Logo : an original iPhone has, on the back, the Apple logo (the one with the classic bitten apple ) perfectly centered and not in relief
  • Buttons : an original Apple smartphone has the Home button (up to 8 and 8 Plus models, it is absent on iPhone X and later versions) located exactly in the bottom center on the front of the device, the power button at the top or on the right side and those for volume adjustment on the left side. Except for damage to the device, all keys must be perfectly functional and their pressure must be easy.
  • Operating System : The original operating system installed on all iPhones is iOS . A non-original iPhone will inevitably be equipped with a different but perfectly disguised platform, most likely Android which, as known, can be customized in the interface. Although at first glance it may be the opposite, it is still quite simple to realize this: the icons of some apps may have differences from the original ones (perhaps resulting grainy) and the settings menusthey may not reflect the real interface and options, not to mention the possible presence of errors in the translation and incomplete writings. In addition, the OS, in general, may be not very fluid.
  • Shape and colors : The shape and colors of an original iPhone must be the same as those shown, in writing and in images, by Apple on its official website . Also, the back of an iPhone case is not removable (by the user) on any model. An alleged iPhone without this feature is undoubtedly a “fake” device.

For further information on the aesthetic characteristics of iPhones and for an accurate comparison, model by model, I refer you to reading my tutorial on how to see the iPhone model , as well as to the appropriate Web page made available by Apple itself on the its official portal.

I also suggest that you focus on the construction materials used, which in the case of a fake iPhone will be different and much poorer than those used by Apple, as well as on the sales package of the device, which although it may be similar to the original. however, it should have differences in terms of images, writings and / or logos. Also, there may be various imperfections.

Check the IMEI

Form factor and technical specifications aside, to understand if an iPhone is original you can also rely on the verification of the IMEI code of the reference device. In case you are not aware of it, the IMEI (acronym for International Mobile Equipment Identity) is a code consisting of 15 digits that allows you to uniquely identify mobile phones and can also be useful to find out if a particular device is been blocked following a report of theft.

To carry out the check in question, you first need to find the IMEI code . How you do it? You can do it in various ways, below you will find explained which ones. Obviously, if the iPhone whose IMEI you want to know is not yet in your possession, you will have to ask the seller directly or in any case the person who intends to give it to you to provide you with this detail.

  • Using the iOS settings : tap on the Settings icon (the one with the gear ) located on the Home screen , then press on the word General and then on the Info item . The IMEI code is the one you find in the new screen displayed, corresponding to the wording IMEI .
  • Using the dialer : access the dialer (the numeric keypad) of the iPhone by pressing the icon with the green handset on the Home screen, press the Keypad item at the bottom right and enter the code *#06#(without starting the call). Once this is done, you will see the IMEI code automatically appear on the device screen.
  • Through the sales package : you can also find the IMEI code of the iPhone by looking at the sales package of the device. It is usually placed on the back, on a special label and marked with the wording IMEI / MEID .

In short, the methods to obtain this type of information are certainly not lacking and for any doubts you can refer to my guide on how to check the iPhone IMEI , in which I went into more detail on the matter.

After finding the IMEI, you can check the validity of the latter and find out if it is an original iPhone or not by using the service for checking the Apple coverage , which indicates exactly which iPhone model the code refers to, if the date of purchase is valid if the device is eligible for technical support and is covered for repairs and service .

To use it, connected to the official Apple portal , enter the IMEI code in the field below the entry Enter the serial number , type the security code shown in the image in the lower field and click on the Continue button . Perfect: on the page that appears on the screen, you will find the information you need. Note that if the code refers to a clone, you will most likely see an error message .

Other useful operations

In addition to the methods already described, you can verify the genuineness of an iPhone and its seller by trying to rely on some third-party services . The latter can also be useful to find out if it is a stolen device.

  • Check the reliability of the store or seller : if you are about to buy an iPhone from an online store with which you have never had anything to do with, you can make sure of the reliability of the latter, so perhaps you can indirectly find out if the smartphone it can be counterfeit or not, by searching on TrustPilot for reviews relating to the reference store. The portal, in fact, collects the opinions of users on many Italian and international websites. To view the various opinions, all you have to do is connect to the Trustpilot main page , type the address of the portal to be verified in the search barplaced in the center of the page and select one of the suggestions that appear automatically. You can find more useful information about how TrustPilot works and the reliability of websites in general in my guide on how to recognize a fake site .
  • Check if an iPhone is stolen : if you are in doubt that the iPhone in your possession or that you are about to buy may be a stolen device, you can rely on the iPhone Stolen service which, as the name itself can guess, can be useful to find out if the iPhone that you own or intend to buy is of dubious origin or not. The portal, in fact, offers an online database in which users can report the identification codes of Apple devices that have been lost. To use it, connected to the stolen iPhone home page , type the IMEI code or the serial number (to identify it, you can refer to what is indicated in the previous chapter or to theApple’s official guidelines ) in the field in the center and start the search to find any matches. For more information, I refer you to reading my tutorial on how to check if an iPhone is stolen .

Contact Apple

How do you say? Do you still have any doubts about the matter? In this case, if you need further support in being able, for example, to identify the IMEI code, the device warranty or in any case if you want to receive other help to understand if an iPhone is original or not, the suggestion can only be to get in direct contact with Apple to get all the help you need.

Depending on what vehicles you have and your personal needs and preferences, you can contact Apple ‘s customer support in different ways: by phone, via the web, via the Apple Support app, or via Twitter. You can also go in person to one of the many Apple Stores on the Italian and international territory and interface with technicians and sales staff. To find out how to proceed in all cases, I refer you to reading my guide specifically dedicated to how to contact Apple .

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