Man orders iPhone 15 Pro from Apple, winds up with an Android fake

iPhone 15 Pro Max shown in hand
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

In one of the weirdest delivery scams we've seen to date, a man who claims he ordered an iPhone 15 Pro directly from Apple's website received a concerning surprise at his doorstep instead — an Android-based copy of Apple's latest flagship. 

The baffling tale appeared on Reedit this week, courtesy of Ed from Surrey, England, who goes by the Reddit handle theEdmard. He claims that after ordering the iPhone from Apple's website, he received all the usual delivery confirmation emails from Apple and tracking details from delivery partner Dynamic Parcel Distribution (DPD).

However, once the package arrived, opening it revealed a few red flags that something wasn't quite right. For starters, the phone was covered in a screen protector, which Apple doesn't include with its iPhones out of the box. 

“The next thing I notice when I turn it on, the screen isn’t right, it lights up the black area in a way that is clearly not OLED, and the bottom has a chin, which suggests this is not correct for the phone,” Ed wrote. The design of Apple's iPhone 15 series features uniform bezels around all four edges. 

Once the phone was switched on, the alarm bells only got louder. Several apps, including Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok came preinstalled — something Apple never does — and Ed described a "very poor setup process" wherein Android toasts (small operation-related popups) appeared. The OS was glitchy, the camera was "like a slideshow and crashes if you try to use any UI element on screen," and, most concerning of all, the battery settings page indicated that the device had been used before.

That's when Ed concluded that the device was actually an Android phone running a software skin made to look like Apple's iOS user interface. 

"I immediately clocked that it was an Android device in a skin. It may have convinced my grandad, but I could tell very quickly," he wrote.

Ed, who is the COO for cloud software provider AtWrk according to Mashable, said he's reached out to Apple and has an open ticket with Apple support. Speaking to the outlet, which reviewed the emailed order confirmation he received from Apple, he said Apple has been "very accommodating" about the whole mess, but for now, the issue remains unresolved. Tom's Guide has contacted Apple as well to see what's up.

Fortunately, after spotting the fake, Ed didn’t log on with his Apple ID, and he'd managed to skip all the setup screens to get into the phone. If he had entered his Apple ID and password — or heaven forbid linked up his Apple Wallet — whatever scammers were behind the device could have access to his personal and financial information.

More alarming still, it seems Ed isn't the only target hit by this particular scam. Mashable highlighted a recent TikTok describing an eerily identical situation where an Android fake came in the mail instead of a legitimately ordered Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max. 

Needless to say, this is a good reminder for us all to practice an abundance of caution when it comes to our tech. Be sure to inspect new phone packages thoroughly before entering any personal information or signing off on shipments. And while you have security on your mind, check out these seven crucial security measures to better protect all your Apple devices.

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Alyse Stanley
News Editor

Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment. Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.