Lightning cable - how to distinguish the original from a fake?

How to distinguish the original Lightning from a fake? Technique

For several years of its existence, Apple products have gained worldwide fame. In the wake of the popularity of "apple" products, various scammers have become more active. They fake not only iPhones or iPads, but also consumables like the Lightning adapter. We will tell you how to distinguish an original Lightning cable from a low-quality fake.

You can find the original charger for the iPhone here

Why you can't save

The main thing you should immediately pay attention to when buying a Lightning cable is its price. Apple is known for the high cost of their products, and the cost of the original adapter varies from 20 to 35$ depending on the place of sale. A fake can also be found for 200-300 rubles. By saving on a purchase, you endanger your iOS device. Here are the possible negative consequences of using a counterfeit product:

  • iOS device can be damaged (and even catch fire!);
  • the cable itself can be damaged and fail;
  • can get overheated, break or incorrectly inserted into the device connector;
  • inability to sync, charge the device.

To protect yourself, you need to know your enemy by sight. We list the main features of cheap "Chinese".

Original Lightning cable


You can find the original charger for the iPhone here

A real Lightning is always sold in a box made of quality cardboard.

Packaging of original and fake Lightning cable

Packaging of original and fake Lightning cable

It must have impeccable printing, and the box is also protected from opening with a small plastic label with an orange tip.

Lightning packaging

To identify counterfeit or uncertified cables and accessories, take a close look at their packaging and the accessories themselves. Apple-made products will always have the MFi mark code on their packaging.

Read also: how to distinguish original apple watch from fake

Made for iPhone (New Version)

Older devices may have a previous version of this mark.

Made for iPhone (Old Version)

The package bundle of the original and fake Lightning cable is also different, the original kit includes an instruction booklet.

Complete set of original and fake Lightning cable

Certified cable marking

You can find the original charger for the iPhone here

Need to check if there is a serial number of 12 digits. It should also say "Designed by Apple in California, Assembled in China" ("Designed by Apple in California, manufactured in China"). Options with "Assembled in Vietnam" ("assembled in Vietnam") or "Indústria Brasileira" ("produced in Brazil") are also possible.

The inscription is located, as a rule, at a distance of 15-18 cm from the USB connector. Variations of this engraving in terms of text, color and clarity of the font, distance of location are a sign of falsification.

Read also: how to tell a refurbished iphone

Unfortunately, the cunning Chinese also know how to put inscriptions on their fakes, but their appearance is slightly different. On fakes, the font is bold, the paint is dark gray.

On a real Lightning, the numbers and letters are gray, printed very high quality. The text is located at a distance of 18 cm from the USB connector. In some cases, there are no markings on branded wires.

Original Lightning serial number

Lightning connector, USB connector, and laser engraving can be used to identify counterfeit and uncertified Lightning accessories. Compare the images below for Apple certified accessories and counterfeit or non-certified Lightning accessories. These are just some of the fake products. There are others.

Do you verify the authenticity of Apple products before buying?

Lightning Connector

Plug of original and fake Lightning cable

There are 3 main features by which you can distinguish between real and fake connectors:

  1. The pins of a true Lightning connector should be solid and rounded with a smooth surface. Rounded, smooth, gold or silver contacts. In the uncertified, they are rough and poorly processed.
  2. There are no extra holes and grooves on the surface of the insulator (internal visible part of the connector). It is flat, smooth and white.
  3. The dimensions of the Apple connector are always the same (7.7 x 12mm). The length of the plug on the original is always 12 mm and the width is 7.7 mm.
  4. The USB symbol is accurately engraved, not blurred or embossed.
  5. The metal part of the tip in the original is gray, but in a bad Chinese product it is black or white.

Comparison of the original connector and fake

Counterfeit or non-certified Lightning to USB cable:

  • Consists of several parts. Inaccurate or inhomogeneous processing. Square contacts with uneven surface.
  • Various width, length or thickness.
  • White or black connector surface.

Plug of original and fake Lightning cable

USB connector

You can find the original charger for the iPhone here

There is a USB logo on the plug. If the cable is real, the paint is light gray, the emblem is very neat.

The picture on the non-certified product is dark gray with blurry borders.

USB connector of the original and fake Lightning cable

The outer part of the connector itself on the real adapter on the side with the symbol has two holes, in a fake there are four of them. Trapezoidal metal joints on the opposite side of the connector should be fitted as close as possible to each other and be located at an equal distance from the edges. The contacts themselves are gold-plated. On fake products, the contacts are usually silver, and the joints are square.

Check Lightning cable by barcode:

Enter 13 digits of the barcode:

Sometimes a fake can be seen from the coating of the plug. On the original, the metal tip is polished smoothly, but on the counterfeit product, it is rough. Also, there are no holes and grooves on the inside of this connector.

Below are examples of the USB connectors on the Lightning to USB cable.

Read also: How to distinguish an original iPhone from a fake

USB connector of original and fake

Apple Lightning to USB cable features:

  • Trapezoidal connections of the USB contact body. Housing connections are located at the same distance from the edges.
  • Golden USB contacts.
  • Smooth surface of the USB connector without inclusions. The flat surface of the USB connector housing.
  • Solid and flat surface of USB connector insulation.

Fake Lightning to USB cable:

  • The USB connector housing connections are right angled. Housing connections are located at different distances from the edges.
  • The USB contacts are silver plated.
  • Uneven and rough surface of the USB connector. A retainer or retaining pad on the surface of the USB connector housing.
  • Notches or dents on the insulation surface of the USB connector.

A little about adapters

You can find the original charger for the iPhone here

You need to pay attention to the Lightning-30 adapter pin connector.

A branded product should have a clear and neat 30-pin dock connector icon. It is laser engraved.

The connection of the adapter body with the Lightning connector must be monolithic, even.

There is no laser engraving on the fake or it is too fuzzy. The connection is stepped, or there are visible grooves between the Lightning connector and the adapter body itself.

Real adapter

Fake adapter

If we are talking about the Lightning-Micro USB adapter, then on the original version the USB logo is also engraved with a laser, just like in the case of the Lightning-30 version, the connection between the adapter case and the Lightning connector is stepless.

Lightning cable - how to distinguish the original from a fake?

On a counterfeit product, the USB symbol is embossed, and in some cases is completely absent. There are large grooves or connection with steps.

Lightning cable - how to distinguish the original from a fake?

Video: what's the difference between an original Lightning and a fake one?


Checklist for Lightning Cable Authentication by Connector:



Contacts Solid and rounded, with a smooth surface.

Golden or silver

Rough, poorly machined, square contacts with an uneven surface
Internal visible part of the connector Flat, smooth, white
Connector size 7.7 x 12mm Length and thickness varies
USB symbol Applied with precision engraving, not blurry, not embossed. Blurred
Tip metal part Gray Black or white

You can find the original charger for the iPhone here

Whether or not to save on the purchase of a Lightning cable is, of course, your own business. Given the many problems that a bad Chinese adapter is likely to cause, buying a branded product seems like a smart choice.

The price of the original and fake Lightning cable

If earlier owners of branded adapters sometimes complained about tearing insulation, now Apple has heard the pleas of users and has begun to produce an improved cable. The insulation on it is of higher quality, thick and rough, resistant to friction and frequent bending.

If you still want to buy a cheaper cable, you should choose those that are legally produced by third-party manufacturers under license. MFi (Made for iPhone).

Why did you buy an Apple smartphone?
He is very comfortable
Thought out to the smallest detail
High image quality
Many exclusive options
Recognizable, cool brand
Apple is my love forever!
Voted: 9

What to do if you sold a fake?

Where to go if you sold a fake?


Andrey Kozhevnikov

Blog author. 7 years of experience as a Merchandiser. Specialist in the definition of quality products. Distinguished more than 5,000 fake goods. My motto: there is no limit to perfection!

Rate author
OriginalPoddelka - how to distinguish a fake from the original
Add a comment

  1. Kostya

    There are so many of these Chinese fakes on the market now that it's just tin. I think 1/20 cords will only be original

  2. Victor

    Yeah, then these Chinese give out "accessory is not supported"