How To Spot Fake Apple Lightning Cable's and Other Accessories

Sean Wilson

How To Spot Fake Apple Lightning Cable 

Apple suggests only purchasing and using genuine Apple manufactured accessories or Apple accessories that they have certified and come with the "Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad" logo.

At Digital Save we sell both Genuine Apple accessories as well as aftermarket and third party iPhone accessories. We would never advertise a third party accessory as a genuine one – but on the flip side, everything we do advertise as a Genuine Apple is exactly that and we would never knowingly sell a counterfeit or fake and advertise as an original. The guide below will help you identify fake Apple accessories and the issues they can cause to your iPhone etc.

If you use a counterfeit or fake Lightning accessory, you could come across these issues:

  • Your Apple devices such as iPhone or iPad could become damaged or corrupted
  • The cable or cable coating could be easily damaged
  • Either of the connectors could break off, reach an unsafe temperature, or might not fit properly into your device
  • Charging or trying to data sync with your iPhone, iPad etc may not work 

However, Genuine Apple "Ain't All That"

With this being said though – Apple products themselves are no masterful works of creation and you only need to take a look at the reviews on Apple’s own website to see that their own products are far from the superior quality they claim. Here is a link to the reviews page on their website for the Apple Lightning Cable. As you can see, it doesn’t make for good reading. It does however present a strong argument for ordering your Apple Accessories from us – as you save almost 50% in most cases by purchasing from us instead of the Apple Store.

Reviews from Apple Store - 

Look at writing on the cable

The first place to start when trying to identify whether or not your accessories are fake is to check the cable. The Apple Lightning to USB cable will have an assortment of text printed on the cable coating. First it will read “Designed by Apple in California” as well as either “Assembled in Vietnam” or “Assembled in China” or “Industria Brasileira” roughly seven inches from the USB connector. You should also see a serial number of either 12 or 17 digits.


Look at Connectors and Laser Etchings

After you’ve checked the cable out you want to be looking carefully at the Lightning connector, USB connector and laser etchings to help identify counterfeit Lightning accessories. The images below compare Genuine Apple products and their connectors with counterfeit versions.

Lightning Connector End

Below are three examples of a Genuine Apple Lightning connector to compare against three examples (there are more out there!) of counterfeit or fake Apple Lightning cables.

Single Piece 
Smooth Contacts

More than one piece
Rough or inconsistent finish
Squared contacts with an uneven surface

Width and length of Apple boot is consistent (7.7mm x 12mm)

Varying width, length, or thickness


Gray/metallic faceplate insert


White or black faceplate insert

Lightning to USB Cable, USB-connector end

Below are some more examples how the Apple Lightning Cables USB Connector should and shouldn’t look.

Interlocks on USB shell are trapezoidal and equally spaced from the edge.

USB shell interlocks are square 
Interlocks are inconsistently spaced

USB contacts are gold-plated

USB contacts are silver-plated

USB surface is smooth and consistent shell is flat

USB surface is rough or grainy
Surface of USB shell has a detent or retaining divot

Surface of the insulator for the USB connection is uniform and flat

Insulator for USB connection has notches or indents

Lightning to 30-pin Adapter

Here are examples of the Lightning to 30-pin Adapter. The first is Apple-certified; the others are counterfeit or uncertified.

Icon for 30-pin dock connection is laser etched and clear
The connection between adapter body and Lightning connector is flush

Blurry or missing laser etching
Step-down or large notch between adapter body and Lightning connector

Lightning to Micro USB Adapter

Below are some more examples of a real Lightning To Micro USB adapter compared against three fake versions.

  • Laser-etched USB symbol
  • The connection between adapter body and Lightning connector is flush


Perhaps the reviews on the Apple webpage you linked are from people who purchased fakes?
So I see you have this section as shown on Apple site, however you left out the bit stating regarding "Made for Apple". So are you products a certified third party product and not the actual "Designed by Apple and Assembled in ***" ?


Apple products are not "Made For Apple" as they are made by Apple. Only 3rd party products are "MFi" or "Made For Apple." This blog post only refers to Apple product not 3rd party products such as Belkin and Griffin.