Fake Apple TV: how to tell fake Vs real? Know Here

6 Min Read

Be warned that there are many fake Apple TV for sale and while clones or fakes are becoming increasingly more popular you can still tell the difference. The last thing you want is to buy an Apple TV clone. So if you are worried that you may buy a fake Apple TV or a Clone Apple TV then this comprehensive guide is for you. Here is the step-by-step guide which will help you to spot a fake Apple TV and distinguish it from the original.

How to identify a fake Apple TV

1. How to tell if your Apple TV is fake: check the Serial number

Serial Number makes it easier for Apple consumers to check the authenticity of their Apple products. Serial Numbers are unique to each model of the Apple products. Your Apple TV still have that unique Serial Number.

Apple runs a website that lets users check if their products are still under warranty. This is great for checking real products, of course, but it also has the added benefit of telling you when you’re using a fake product.

To use the site, you’ll just need your Apple TV’ serial number. You can find this number in various ways.

  • Check in Settings: For you to check the Serial Number of your Apple TV you should go to Settings > General > About.
  • Check the bottom of your Apple TV: Serial number of the Apple TV can also be found at the bottom of your TV. You can use light to check it out because the numbers are a bit reflective.
  • Find the Serial Number with your Apple ID: On your Apple Device that is signed in with your Apple ID, you can find the Serial Number of your Apple TV. If you have an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, go to Settings > Your Name, then scroll down and tap your Apple TV to see the Serial Number. If you have a MacBook you can go to your Apple ID account page and find the Serial Number of your Apple TV.

Once you have the Apple TV’ serial number, head to the Check Coverage website and enter it into the field at the top, then fill out the CAPTCHA and click Continue.

If you’re brought to either a page that asks you to enter the purchase date, or one that tells you what warranty options you have available, your Apple TV is probably legit. But if you instead get an error message saying that Apple is “unable to check coverage for this serial number,” it’s almost definitely fake.

Quick tip: Systems like this are why you should always keep your serial numbers private. Leaking your number online makes it easier for companies to make fake Apple TV with real serial numbers, which makes it harder to detect fakes.

2. How to spot a fake Apple TV: Packaging

Apple has pretty high production standards, and fake Apple TV manufacturers rarely meet them. Minimalist, intelligent, and clean — these are the perfect words to describe the boxes that come with Apple products. Anyone who knows a thing or two about tech brands also knows how much Apple pays attention to the details, even when it comes to the packaging.

Because of this, counterfeit manufacturers seem to have a harder time producing high-quality packaging than the Apple TV itself.

Different counterfeit Apple TVs come from different manufacturers. This means that some manufacturers could have gotten parts of packaging right that other manufacturers haven’t.

The packaging of an original Apple TV is exquisite. It’s absolutely gorgeous and the colour is eye popping. The box has a unique “Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD” word marked with a black colour. In the box you’ll find the Apple TV, the Siri Remote, a power cable, and Lightning cable, which is used to charge the remote.

If you look carefully, you can find signs that Apple TV is fake on the packaging:

  • Information: Although we don’t actually read the technical specs or any of the information on the packaging. It might actually be extremely useful when it comes to figuring out if you have fake Apple TV. Since the packaging is usually made in non-English speaking countries, there are bound to be a few spelling errors. In fact, if the text is in Chinese, then it’s a dead giveaway.
  • Color: Packaging for the Apple TV comes in a nice, clean white, while knock-off brands usually look off-white or yellowish.
  • Labeling: The Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD both come with distinct labeling that is uniform everywhere in the world. If you find that your box doesn’t have the same labels as the original ones, then it’s most likely fake. For example, if you find weird stickers or labels that refer to giveaway, then you’re dealing with a fake.
  • Serial number: This is a huge one. If your packaging doesn’t have a serial number or if it’s been tampered with, then there is a good chance you’re dealing with fake Apple TV. So be sure to inspect it thoroughly. Use apple TV serial number check to know if it is fake or not. Note that some fake Apple TV with real serial numbers. So use the first tip on this guide to know how to check if Apple TV is real by serial number.

3. How to Spot Fake Apple TV: Pricing

Apple products are known worldwide for their high prices compared to any other products. Of course, we acknowledge the existence of deals and promos across the board that could have possibly let you buy an authentic Apple TV for dirt-cheap. So just because you got your Apple TV for $100 or less doesn’t necessarily mean it’s fake – although it’s likely.

You can get Apple TV 32GB for $179 or Apple TV 64GB for $199 from any Apple store.

If you got your pair brand-new for under $100 from a Black Friday sale or some other super-low discount price, then either you’re lucky, or your Apple TV, unfortunately, may not be authentic.

The same goes for new “Apple TV” that you got for under the $100 range. If you got a brand-new set for $50 or less, then you can probably already tell that it’s fake since you most likely won’t be getting the best build quality at $50 or less.

4. How to spot Apple TV: Operating system

Original Apple TV comes with tvOS installed. This is not something you’ll find on fake Apple TV. Usually, the installed operating system is free or open access such as Android rather than tvOS. This is a complete dead giveaway of a fake Apple TV.

5. How to Tell If Apple TV is Fake: Check it’s ability to connect with other Apple Devices

Apple TV connects with other Apple Devices well. You can connect your HomePod or HomePod Mini with your Apple TV for speakers. You can connect your Apple TV to be used as your HomeKit to control your Smart Home. AirPods can also be connected with Apple TV for Private listening. so if your Apple TV does not connect to your Apple Devices, just know that you are looking at a fake Apple TV.

6. How to Tell If Apple TV is Fake: Try to Use Siri

Another reliable way to tell if Apple TV is fake is by doing something only authentic Apple TV can do.

Siri is a virtual assistant that is part of the tvOS operating system. Siri is available in both Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD.

Siri is one thing that counterfeit manufacturers have never been able to fake. Try asking Siri for things like movies, TV Shows or Apps. If Siri doesn’t respond to your commandds, we’re sorry to tell you, but your Apple TV is fake.

7. How to Spot Fake Apple TV: Build Quality

If you look at the physical hardware of fake Vs fake Apple TV, the differences are quite difficult to discern. You have to nitpick and look at the smallest details to identify the fake.

Apple’s tolerances on hardware are second-to-none. You shouldn’t see any seams in the plastic, the ports and connectors are tight and sturdy, and the color of Apple products (like MacApple TV) is clean and bright. If your Apple TV seem a little low quality, the pieces are loose, or the color isn’t perfect, you might have knock-off Apple TV.

If ever doubt, you should simply open up a schematic or an image of the authentic Apple TV on your computer and compare it to yours. 90% of the time the clone manufacturers tend to cut corners on the design.

8. Bring it to an authorised reseller

If you are not at ease of being in possession of a fake Apple TV, you can take it to your nearest Apple store. Apple stores have their own engineers and experts that can help you to identify if your Apple TV is original or fake. There is nothing you can do if they find out that your Apple TV is fake because you have purchased it from a fake agent. To avoid all the messes of buying a fake Apple TV, it’s advisable to buy from Apple Authorised Resellers. If you are buying Apple TV online through platforms such as Amazon, make sure that you are buying from their official Apple Store.

Spotting Apple TV Clone – Final Thoughts

At first glance, it is quite easy to mistake a clone for an original Apple TV, as the makers pay high attention, especially to the TV appearance. If you look closely using the methods below, you can spot a fake from a genuine Apple TV:

  • Serial number
  • Packaging
  • Build quality
  • Pricing
  • Features check

Let us know if you’ve spotted any fake Apple TV and be careful when buying or trading online with these distinct feature differences!
See also: Fake MacBook Pro: how to tell fake Vs real? Know Here

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GeeksModo Staff is a team of iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch experts led by Moses Johnson. We're passionate about all things Apple!
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