Thursday, 4 October 2012

How to Spot a Fake iPhone5

The iphone5 is one of the most anticipated gadget for this year, and as usual, has made a long queue during it's first day out from the shelf. Although the initial price is quite high, gadgeteers are still eager to own it. For a cash strapped fan like me, the remedy to own one with less money is to search online for a reduced priced device.  But is it worth the long hours of searching just to be redirected to ebay and other online bidding and selling sites for a cheaper device?  I do not say that all of the reduced iPhone5 prices on those sites are fakes, but I think everybody needs to be aware  on the things that make it suspicious to be true.

The Source

It is important to know where the device is coming from. If it is from a bidding or buy and sell sites, then be aware that most counterfeits come from the far east. They can name everything as anything, and can make a product looks like the real thing as these are just rendered in pictures and no physical product is tried before the sale. Check the seller's rating and the other items that he sells. You can at least have a clue if he is really selling a genuine apple product by the other items he sell, like using the same photo for another item with another name.

Mismatched Box Colour                                                  
Fake                                           Not Fake

The Price 

Even those products of sellers that are from your local area, if it appears to be so cheap, then caution is what I can advise.Why? It is most probably too good to be true. iPhone 5 is still new and depreciation of the product for a few days could be suspicious. In fact, it takes a while before apple lowers it's prices. Only until a new device is ready for display.

There are official and legitimate suppliers of the iphone 5 around already but because it is still new, it costs a lot even with a line rental. A deal for the 16GB iPhone5 from Carphone Warehouse with unlimited calls, unlimited texts and 1GB of data costs £46 a month, the same iPhone5 at Dialaphone with  100 free minutes talk, unlimited text and 100MB of data costs an effective £35.17 a month. 

The cheapest way to own it is to buy sim free, which you can do it online at apple website, or go directly to apple. Carphone Warehouse also offers sim free for the 64GB model.

The Size, Feel  and Appearance

Just in case you have the chance to hold the device, remember the iPhone 5 is 123.8 mm tall, 58.6mm width, 7.6mm thickness and 112 grams weight. Any discrepancies  makes it fake. You can also check SIRI of Facetime appilcations in action, as they are distinct applications for apple's latest phone models. They will be hard to copy and copies will be so easy to distiguish. 

Take a close look for the icons as well. The seller may tell that it is jail broken and has been customised, but as the device is still new, I doubt anyone has managed to be able to mess up with the display  yet.

Fake                                           Not Fake  

Serial Number and IMEI Test

You can also ask the seller to send you the device's serial  and IMEI number to check it with apple's site for the legitimacy of the device. Even if the device is not yet registered with iTunes, apple will still be able to detect it. Once you have the serial number, go to 

enter the serial number and check if the device can be identified.

For the IMEI number, you can use any mobile phone buying sites to check that the model and make of the device matches it's  IMEI number 

then check it.

My Thoughts

Low price is a real temptation, but we do really need to think twice. Sellers with offers good to be true will exert all efforts to convince us the legitimacy of their product. They know how to exploit our eagerness to have a popular product like the iPhone 5. So before we hand over our money, we need to check. 

It is also good to wait for a little while. Line rentals will ultimately drop after a while, when the hype has cooled down. iPhone 4S has that same price when it is still fresh, but at the moment, it has dropped down to £27.46 effective monthly line rentals, and £449 sim free.

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