What just happened? Apple has reportedly added a new security feature to iPhone 15 boxes that could make it easier to verify device authenticity. The Cupertino-based tech giant made no mention of the hidden watermark in the lead-up to today's iPhone 15 launch, and why would they? Doing so would have tipped off scammers to its existence sooner and given them even more time to replicate the security feature.

9to5Mac points to a video shared on X (formerly Twitter) highlighting a pair of hidden watermarks on the back of an iPhone 15 box. The watermark, which is only visible under ultraviolet light, appears to be a QR code that can presumably be scanned to verify that the box is indeed a genuine Apple creation.

It is a pretty clever move that could help combat counterfeit devices out of the gate, but rest assured that scammers are already working to copy it now that the cat is out of the bag. The specifics of the QR code are not yet known, but expect the inner workings to be revealed in due time.

Shoppers purchasing a new iPhone from a reputable retailer like Best Buy, their wireless carrier, or directly from Apple should not have to worry about counterfeit devices. Rather, it is those buying from smaller vendors or third-party marketplaces that are more prone to being taken advantage of.

As 9to5Mac highlights, there are a few steps you can take when purchasing a phone in person to help verify it is genuine. Closely inspect the retail box and compare it to other iPhone boxes to make ensure there are not any obvious signs of counterfeiting. Low quality fakes often utilize different fonts or even have misspelled words right on the box.

The publication also advises buyers to check the serial number printed on the box and if possible, open the device on the spot and make sure the information in the phone's settings match what is printed on the box.

Image credit: Surasak Ch