How to Verify the Authenticity of an iPhone

By Katina Blue

Because of Apple's innovative technology and marketing efforts, its iPhone sold about 8.7 million copies in 2010 and is still in high consumer demand. Apple's success with the iPhone has caused countries such as China to produce replicas of the phone, creating confusion for consumers in regards to verifying an iPhone's authenticity. If in doubt, there are several ways to make sure you are purchasing an authentic iPhone instead of a reproduction.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer or phone
  • Straight-edge ruler
  • iPhone

Verifying An iPhone's Authenticity

Step 1

Measure the screen of the iPhone. An authentic iPhone's screen is 3.5 inches long diagonally. Place a straight-edged ruler across the screen. If the measurement is more or less than 3.5 inches, the phone may be a replica.

Step 2

Check for more than one SIM card slot. Apple manufactures iPhones with only one SIM card slot. Locate the SIM card slot on the top or side of the phone, depending on the model. There should only be one slot. If there is more than one, it's a replica. Also, if you have to remove the back of the phone to find the SIM card, the phone is not an authentic iPhone.

Step 3

Find the phone's serial numbers. Apple manufactures every iPhone with a serial number that identifies the model name and warranty status. Look on the bottom label of the original packaging box for a series of numbers. If you do not have access to the box, the numbers are on the back of the original iPhone and on the "About" screen of the phone's display. Touch "Settings" on the main iPhone screen, then tap "General" on the following screen and "About" on the next screen. Scroll down the "About" screen, find the serial numbers and write them down.

Step 4

Confirm the phone's serial numbers with Apple. Call Apple Support at 800-275-2273 and ask a customer service rep to verify the serial number you obtained in Step 3. You can also enter the serial number on Apple's website. If Apple's record of serial numbers does not recognize your number, the phone is not an authentic model.

Tips & Warnings

  • Apple manufactures iPhones with screens that react only to electricity-conducing materials, such as your finger. Replicas usually come with a stylus, which is a long metal pointer used to touch and move items on a PDA screen. Apple does not manufacture a stylus to accompany its iPhone and an authentic iPhone screen will not react to a plastic or metal stylus.