How to tell if lightning cable is real

In this article, I’m going to show you how to identify a fake USB lightning cable. You may be having issues with your charger and you’re probably wondering whether the cable you’re using is counterfeit or genuine. I’m going to show you a few tips you can use to identify this.

What’s Wrong with My Cable?

There can be multiple things wrong with your cable which is why you want to find out if it’s real or fake. Fake cables don’t work well with your iPhone or iPad and they don’t provide as good of a performance and real iPhone chargers.

There are loads of problems that you could encounter when you’re using a fake iPhone charger. For example, your iPhone isn’t going to recognise the fake charger and you’ll receive a message saying, ‘This accessory may not be supported’. This is when your iPhone isn’t going to charge because your iPhone doesn’t recognise your cable as a genuine cable.

Another problem that a counterfeit charge can do is get hot. This is going to be caused by your iPhone charger short-circuiting at the end of the cable that connects to your iPhone and this can cause the cable to overheat.

One last problem you can encounter if you have a fake charge is the end of the charger falling off. These chargers aren’t manufactured with the same care as a real charge is going to have. This is why they are very fragile, and they can easily break.

Where Did you Buy the Cable From?

The first question you need to ask yourself if you think you have a fake iPhone charge is where you bought the cable from. The source of the cable can be a really good indicator when determining whether the charger is counterfeit or genuine.

If you bought your cable from the Apple store or another popular hardware store, this charger or cable is going to be real and you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. A popular wholesaler such as Walmart is a good place to buy a genuine cable from and there’s a negligible chance that they’d sell a fake charger.

If you bought your charger from an untrusted source such as a convenience store or from an untrusted seller on Amazon, then there’s a good chance that this cable is going to be fake. Convenience stores wouldn’t go through the effort to check if their cables are going to be real.

Check if the Cable is MFI Certified

Assessing where you got the charge from is only going to give you an idea of whether the charge is genuine or not. One of the best ways to identify a cable as real or fake is to check if the cable is MFI certified.

made for iphone

An MFI certified cable is only given to certified manufactures of iPhone cables. If the manufacturer’s cable is MFI certified, it means that the charger meets Apple standard. If the cable meets Apple standards, then it’s a trusted cable and they follow the same procedures Apple follow when making their chargers.

So how can you tell if your charger is MFI certified? The only way you can tell if the charger you’re buying is MFI certified is if you still have the box or if you haven’t bought the charger yet. If you have the box the cable came in, you’re going to see the ‘made for Apple’ logo on the packaging.

If you haven’t bought the charger yet, you can look at the source and see if it’s labelled with MFI. If you’re buying it online, it should have MFI certified on the product image, product title, or in the description. If it’s in a store, it should the MFI logo on it or you can ask someone who works there.

Check Where the Cable was Made

The next way to identify if an iPhone cable is real or fake is to check where the cable was made. Apple only assembles cables in 3 countries so if your cable isn’t made in that country, then there’s a chance that it’s fake. If you bought your charger from a third party seller, look below to asses if the cable is real or fake.

If you bought a charge and it was advertised as being from Apple, you should see a 12-digit serial number on the cable. This cable is going to be in small writing so make sure that you look properly. There are only three countries you should see if your Apple charge was advertised as being from Apple.

You should see ‘Designed by Apple in California’ followed by:

  • Assembled in Vietnam
  • Assembled in China
  • Industria Brasileira

After you’ve found this on your cable, you should see a 12-digit serial number followed by where the cable was assembled. If you bought your Apple cable from a third-party seller on Amazon, for example, they should have their logo or brand on the charger. This doesn’t mean it not fake, it just adds a bit more credibility.

Assess the Lightning Connector

After you’ve followed the steps above, the last way to check if your cable is real or fake is to look at the tip of the lightning cable. You can use these steps to verify if the cable is actually real or fake.

Look at the Metal Connectors

fake-contacts

If the metal cables have more or less than 7 connectors, it’s fake. If the connectors are rough and haven’t got a smooth and fine finish, its fake. If the long white part below the connector is wider than 7.7 mm or longer than 12mm, it’s fake. If the faceplate is black or white, it’s fake.

lightning contacts

The gold cable should have 7 connectors. They should all be gold or silver, they should have a smooth finish and they should all be rounded off at the corners. They shouldn’t be touching, and they should have an equal length between them. The long white part should be 7.7 mm wide and 12 mm long and the faceplate should be grey or metal.

The USB End of the Cable

fake counter shell

If the metal parts look more like a rectangle than a triangle, they’re fake. If the contacts inside aren’t Gold, they are fake. If there aren’t 2 separate metal plates connected to each other and there’s only one, it’s fake.

real counter shell

If the 2 metal parts look like a triangle and they’re interlocking, it real. If the contacts are Gold plated, then they’re real.

Bottom Line

That was everything you should do if you want to identify whether an iPhone cable is real or fake. If you have any questions or concerns, comment down below. If you liked this article, subscribe to the email newsletter where you can reply back to me with issues you’re having, and I’ll give you a solution.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Hi,

    Don’t know if this has already been pointed out but a genuine Lightning cable/connector has 8 contacts, not 7 !

    That’s why Lightning cables/connectors are also referred to as 8 pin cables/connectors.

    All the best,
    Steve.

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