WTF?! Ordering an item and having something different turn up certainly isn't a new phenomenon, but a UK resident had a strange experience in which an iPhone 15 Pro Max, ordered directly from Apple, turned out to be an Android device in disguise.
Redditor theEdmard said he ordered Apple's latest flagship through the company's UK website, taking delivery on Saturday. He received the usual confirmation emails from Apple and tracking details through delivery service DPD, so everything appeared to be legit.
However, opening the box set off a few alarm bells. The first warning sign was that the phone was covered in a screen protector (and not the right one for the handset), suggesting a return might have been sent out by mistake.
More signs something was off appeared when the handset was turned on. theEdmard writes that the black areas of the screen, which appear as perfect blacks on an OLED display like the one on the iPhone 15 Pro, were lit up in a way that suggested this was an LCD. There was also a thicker bezel, or "chin," on the bottom of the device that was unlike Apple's handset.
Further confirmation that this was an Android device in a skin came when the poor setup process and the Android toasts (small operation-related popups) appeared.
The post adds that Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok were already installed on the handset, the OS was glitchy, and the camera was "like a slideshow and crashes if you try to use any UI element on screen." Moreover, the battery settings page showed the device had been used before.
The Redditor questioned whether this was a scam by someone trying to grab their personal details. While that is possible, it could just be a way of stealing the very expensive iPhone 15 Pro Max and replacing it with a cheap clone in the hope of fooling less tech-savvy people.
The other mystery is how the user received this device when it was ordered directly from Apple. We've seen the likes of Amazon send out fake items plenty of times, usually from third-party sellers, including a putty-filled fake graphics card. There was also the case of the person who bought an RTX 4090 from Newegg and was sent a box filled with weights. In this case, the most likely explanation is that the iPhone 15 Pro Max was intercepted during transit and swapped for a fake on the way to the buyer.
The Redditor has contacted Apple support and will likely get his iPhone 15 Pro Max. As for the person who took it, Apple will no doubt brick the stolen device to stop it from being used, though as one commentator points out, the thief will probably have sold it by that point.