How to Tell the Difference Between Original and Fake Lightning Cable?

You just bought a new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c and this is your first upgrade to new iPhones since they introduced the new Lightning connector (or this is your first iPhone ever!). In that case, you now have to replace all your 30-pin USB cables with new Lightning cables, and it won’t be cheap if you buy all your extra cables directly from Apple.

Apple charges $20 for a regular three-foot-long USB Lightning cable, so if you bought three extra cables, one for your car, travel bag, and workplace, that’s the full $60. Therefore, you may be looking for alternatives. Amazon sells its own Lightning cables under the “AmazonBasics” brand. $14 each; this is still by no means cheap, but better than paying $20.

The only problem with the Amazon variant is that the plastic around the connector is thicker than Apple’s version; this means that if your iPhone has a case (like me) Amazon cables won’t fit. So you’d have to use Apple’s own cables to get something that fits.

Which Lighting cable is original? It’s hard to tell at first glance.

However, I had to get Apple’s original OEM Lightning cables, but wasn’t willing to pay $20 for them, so I went hunting on eBay in hopes of finding someone who got rid of the Lightning cables because they switched to Android. I was aware that eBay was full of Chinese rip-offs claiming to be genuine Lightning cables, but I found a listing in the US selling “real” cables for around $11 each. They were probably still fake but if it was still fake I pulled the trigger with a plan to file a complaint and get a refund.

Indeed, the cables were fake, but I decided to take the time to see exactly what the differences were between fake and original Lightning cables. Obviously, the chips and circuits inside are different, and there are no real chips inside Chinese cables that accurately control the flow of charge, but you can’t see it with the naked eye. That said, here are some tips to check if a Lightning cable is genuine.

Lightning Connector

At first glance, a fake and a real Lightning cable look almost the same, but the differences are in the details. On closer inspection, there are several key differences between a fake and a real Lightning connector, which immediately tells you which is the real, original cable and which is fake.

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The clearest difference is that the white part of the original Lightning cable on the right has perfectly rounded corners, while the fake one on the left is somewhat angular. Also, the entire metal part of the original connector is a single metal part, while the knockout consists of several metal parts pressed together. The imitation version is also slightly longer than the original version.

USB Plug

The white plastic parts at the USB plug end of the cables are practically identical, which can make it difficult to distinguish the two with just a glance. However, as with the Lightning connector tip, the differences are in the details.


The only difference in the USB plug is quite large. The original is on the right, the imitation is on the left. The fake metal USB connector is much grainier than the original, which is perfectly smooth. This probably has something to do with the type of metal the USB plugs are made of; The knockout cable is more likely to use a cheaper metal or manufacturing process to make the plug, thus leaving a rough, grainy surface on the metal.

Serial Number and Text

So, just by looking at both ends of the cable, you can clearly tell which cable is real and which is fake. However, he is signing this agreement. Each Apple Lightning cable comes with a serial number and text that says “Designed by Apple in California, Assembled in China.” Obviously, they also include the same text and a serial number to make sure the counterfeits are as accurate as possible.


However, as you can see from the photo above, the style and shadow of the text are very different. The original cable is at the bottom and the mounting cable is at the top. If you know the font that Apple uses in all their products, you can tell that the bottom one is the original cable. The top one has a darker shade of gray along with a different font that Apple doesn’t use.

So the next time you go out and buy a cable, look for these markings to make sure you’re getting a genuine, genuine Apple Lightning cable. Of course, going directly to an Apple Store or ordering one from Apple’s website guarantees you’ll get a genuine Lightning cable, but if you’re looking to save some money, you’ll definitely want to be careful when hunting. for opportunities.

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