From checking packaging to serial number, there’s more than one way to know if your iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max is original or fake. In this article, i’ll explain how to spot a fake iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
What to Know
- The best way to tell if the iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max is fake is by entering its serial number into Apple’s coverage checking tool.
- If it show up there, the iPhone is genuine.
- You should also look for typos on the packaging.
- Also look out for shoddy exteriors and copycat software interfaces.
With every new iPhone, especially the Pro models, Apple promises better features. But whenever a new iPhone is unveiled, you can expect a boatload of imitators to follow, and it’s no different with the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Just like fake Apple Watch Series 9, there are hundreds of counterfeit iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max brands on the market, and at first glance it’s not always easy to pick out the frauds.
If you want to avoid wasting your cash on a fake iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max, here’s our easy guide to help check that the new phone is authentic.
iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max specifications
Before we start discussing ways to spot fake iPhone 15 pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, let’s first run through the specifications of both devices.
|iPhone 15 Pro||iPhone 15 Pro Max|
|6.1-inch OLED Super Retina XDR display with 2532-by-1170-pixel resolution||6.7-inch OLED Super Retina XDR display with 2778-by-1284-pixel resolution|
|12-megapixel Telephoto camera with ƒ/2.8 aperture||12-megapixel Telephoto camera with ƒ/2.8 aperture and larger sensor|
|Telephoto camera with second-generation sensor-shift optical image stabilization||Telephoto camera with folded tetraprism design and autofocus 3D sensor-shift module|
|0.5x, 1x, 2x, 3x optical zoom||0.5x, 1x, 2x, and 5x optical zoom|
|23-hour battery life (during video playback)||29-hour battery life (during video playback)|
|5.77-inch (146.6mm) height||6.29-inch (159.9mm) height|
|2.78-inch (70.6mm) width||3.02-inch (76.7mm) width|
|6.60-ounce (187 grams) weight||7.81-ounce (221 grams) weight|
|128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB storage||256GB, 512GB, or 1TB storage|
|$999 (128GB), $1,099 (256GB), $1,299 (512GB), or $1,499 (1TB)||$1,199 (256GB), $1,399 (512GB), or $1,599 (1TB)|
How to spot a fake iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max
If you’re buying an iPhone 15 pro or 15 Pro Max directly from Apple, you can rest easy that it’s the real deal. But, if you’re purchasing the device from someone else or an unknown store, then there are few checks you can do to confirm if it’s legit.
How to identify a fake iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max by inspecting the packaging
I find that the easiest way to identify a fake iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max is to inspect the packaging. Apple has pretty high production standards, and dubious manufacturers rarely meet them. The boxes’ fit is tight, the quality of the printing high, the placement of stickers perfect. Apple’s quality control for its products is exacting, so if the iPhone 15 Pro or 15 Pro Max doesn’t meet that mark, it could be fake.
Here are some things to look for:
- Check the box for typos. Fake iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max boxes are usually covered with English spelling and grammar errors.
- The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max boxes have some labels and QR codes that only appear under UV light. These holograms can help you identify whether that sealed box is, in fact, genuine or not.
- Inside the box, you should find the following:
- iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max.
- A braided cable that has a USB-C plug at both ends.
- SIM ejector tool (only for models sold outside US).
- User manual.
- Apple stickers.
If any of the above items is missing inside the box, you might have knock-off iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max. Similarly, if you find a Lighten cable, screen protector, earphones, power adapter, or a case inside the box, you’ve spotted a fake iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max.
How to spot fake iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max by finding defects
The most obvious place to detect a fake iPhone 15 Pro is the exterior design; buttons in the wrong place, or bezels that don’t look quite right. Here are several things to check before you hand over the money.
- Real iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max have a titanium frame. They have a brushed finish and the material itself is very durable. The material on iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max clones tends to feel cheaper and flimsier than the real thing.
- Genuine iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone15 Pro Max have slightly contoured edges which makes them just a bit more comfortable to hold. If the phone has perfectly sharp edges, it’s a fake.
- Original iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max have have one brand new button: the Action button! It’s located where the mute switch used to be, right above the volume keys. If the button is missing, pokes out at all, or feels loose, chances are that it’s a fake.
- On an official iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, there should be a power button on the right side of the phone, with nothing else on that side: the volume buttons are located on the left side below the Action Button. Check these are present, and also that they work. If any of these buttons is missing, placed in an unexpected location, or feels loose, you’ve spotted a fake iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max.
- Authentic iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max have slim bezels around the screen, for a more modern look and they are a tiny bit narrower too. Counterfeit iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max have thicker bezels than the real thing, because it’s so hard for fraudulent manufacturers to match Apple’s engineering capabilities.
- Genuine iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max have a USB-C port. Does the phone you are inspecting have a USB-C port? If not, it’s guaranteed to be an imitation.
- Genuine iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max supports Qi wireless charging. It’s unlikely copycats would throw in this expensive feature. Try putting the iPhone 15 Pro on a Qi charging mat. If it doesn’t charge, it might be a fake.
- Legitimate iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max should have a matte glass finish on the back of them. If you notice a different material on the back of the phone, like plastic, we’re sorry to tell you, but the iPhone 15 Pro is a fake.
- Real iPhone 15 Pro models have triple rear-facing cameras. If the device has single or dual back-facing cameras, it’s a counterfeit.
- If you’ve got scales, check the weight too. Real iPhone 15 Pro weighs at 188 grams, while the iPhone 15 Pro Max weighs 221 grams.
- iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are available in four colors, including:
- Black Titanium.
- White Titanium.
- Blue Titanium.
- Natural Titanium. The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max replicas may have different colors.
How to know if iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max is real by checking the software
Well-executed dodgy iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max aren’t so easy to detect from the outside; they only become apparent once you start using them. Fakes are most easily identified by their inability to replicate the interface and general user experience of a genuine iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max.
- Before buying the device, open it in front of the seller and check if it turns on. If the device doesn’t power on, keep hold of your money.
- If you power on the device, does the Apple Logo appear on the screen? If it doesn’t, that’s a sign that it’s fake.
- Swipe through a few screens and apps. Does the touchscreen respond instantaneously to your swipes? If the phone feels slow and sluggish, it’s fake.
- Check whether the data shown in the Settings app (such as serial number and IMEI) matches what’s printed on the box (see the next section to learn how to find iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro max serial number). If the device serial number doesn’t match what’s on the box, it’s a fake.
How to tell if the iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max is fake by checking the serial number
We’ve discussed various ways to tell if the iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max is fake just by looking at it, but if you’re not sure, try out the one surefire method: Ask Apple.
Apple runs a website that lets users check if their products are still under warranty. This is great for checking real Apple products, of course, but it also has the added benefit of telling you when you’re using a fake Apple product.
So, to spot fake iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max using this trick, follow these steps:
- Find your iPhone’s serial number. You can find the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max serial number in two ways.
- First, if the iPhone has been set up, you can open the Settings app and go to General. Now, tap About. The serial number will be listed on the page that opens.
- Second, if the iPhone hasn’t been set up, on the Hello screen, tap the (i) infobutton to see basic information about the iPhone, including the serial number.
- Once you have the the serial number, head to the Check Coverage website and enter it in the text field where it says, "Enter a device serial number"
- Complete the Captcha and then clickContinue.
- If the tool returns information for that serial number (especially a valid purchased date), that means the iPhone 15 Pro is legit.
- If the serial number is identified as invalid, it’s definitely a fake iPhone 15 Pro.
Quick tip: Systems like this are why you should always keep your serial numbers private. Leaking your number online makes it easier for fraudulent manufacturers to make fake iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max with real serial numbers, which makes it harder to detect fakes.
How to tell if your iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max is fake by checking the price
Another way to tell if iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro max is fake is by checking the price. iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max aren’t cheap. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it’s probably is.
- The iPhone 15 Pro starts at $999 for the base 128GB version, with 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB capacities available in $100/128GB increments, up to $1,499 for the highest capacity.
- The iPhone 15 Pro Max has a starting price of $1,199 for the 256GB version. It moves up in $100/128GB steps, with 512GB and 1TB models available for $1,399 and $1,599, respectively.
If the iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max you are looking to buy costs much less than what’s mentioned above, it might not be real.
How to avoid being scammed
When buying online, it’s quite harder to spot a fake, because you don’t get to see the product until it’s been delivered, and getting a fake product means having to claim refunds and send products back to the seller, which is a hassle.
So what can you do?
Here’s my advice on staying safe:
- Only buy iPhone from Apple Store or a trusted authorized Apple dealer. While Amazon is an authorized Apple reseller, it’s all too easy to be viewing products that are listed by third-party sellers.
- If you can make the purchase in person, do that. With the phone in your hand, you can check the authenticity of the device by inspecting its exterior and checking its serial number on the Apple’s website.
- Try to avoid paying in cash due to the lack of a paper trail and the inability to recover payment. Credit cards are better than debit, cash cards, or bank transfers in this regard too. Your bank can usually dispute a transaction to obtain a chargeback. Always check your specific bank’s terms and conditions and you may have to send in a dispute form to initiate the process. PayPal also offers inclusive buyer protection when buying through them, specifically covering knock-off goods and used products.
- Try to obtain proof of purchase and a detailed item description from the seller to act as evidence, just in case. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the seller’s reputation online via reviews and forum posts before committing to a purchase. A quick Google search ahead of time might save you lots of agony after the fact.
- Forget eBay.
- Use of the word "genuine" is usually a dead giveaway for a fake product.
With all of the above tips, you’re now equipped with enough knowledge to spot a fake iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro max. The chances of encountering one are slim, but it’s always best to be prepared.