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How to distinguish the original Lightning-cable from the Chinese fake

Apple Company recommends that you use only certified Lightning cables, as counterfeit can either just don’t work with your device or even break it.


There are numerous cases of overheating and ignition of smartphones, which were charged using the cable from cheap Chinese manufacturers. It often happens that low-quality Lightning cables do not allow synchronizing the devices. To avoid those problems it is better buying genuine cables and better not to save, otherwise you might pay much more for repairing your gadget. And here is the question arises: how to distinguish the original Apple brand product from a copy? To do so you need to pay special attention to such details when choosing an accessory:

The price of the original Lightning cable


Usually the original Lightning cables are not cheap. Depending on the commercial networks and regions the price of the cable varies from $19 to $35. It is not cheap, but it provides guarantee and will not damage your device. Also it can be easily substituted at the store if it got broken during warranty period.



Many owners of iOS devices faced the problem with Apple branded cables – isolation of accessory begins to tear off in a few months even if used carefully. Fortunately, Apple fixed that problem and since the end of 2015 Lightning cable come with improved strength of isolation coating. The new cables have more rigid and slightly rough surface of the isolation material.

Packaging of the original Lightning cable


The original Lightning cable is sold in a box. The packaging should be made of high quality cardboard and impeccable printing. The box should be also protected from opening by plastic labels with an orange tip.


The inscriptions on the original Lighting cable


Companies are obligated to put an inscription on the branded cables such as “Designed by Apple in California” and “Assembled in China” (or “Assembled in Vietnam”, “Indústria Brasileira”). Near must be a serials number consisting of 12 digits. Inscriptions are located at a distance of about 15 centimeters from the USB-connector. In poor lightning conditions they might not be noticed, since they are applied in a light gray color. If the labels are too bright – it is a sign of imitation.



There are three main features by which you can distinguish the original from a fake. Firstly, the Lightning-connector contacts on the branded cable will be in one piece, smooth and rounded, while the counterfeit – inhomogeneous and rough. Secondly, the width and length of the connector in the original accessory is always the same – 7.7 mm and 12 mm, respectively. Thirdly, the metal tip of the branded cable is gray, and copies – white or black.



Here we have four distinctive features. The joints of the original connector have a trapezoidal shape. In the original accessory connector contacts are gold-plated. The surface of the branded cable is flat and smooth, which you will never find in the counterfeit.  Inside of the original connector you can see the uniform rear side, while in the counterfeit it usually will have extra holes and slots.

Of course, as an alternative you can always use a high-quality Lightning cables produced by third party manufacturers with MFI (Made for iPhone) license, including Chinese manufacturers. You might also check my list of the best alternative lightning cables which are worth to buy to replace the standard.


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