AliExpress 'MFi' Lightning Cables: Why you should be careful, and what to look out for

I recently saw the popular deal for "MFI" certified KALUOS lightning cables. I've been shopping on Ali for a very long time and have picked up some of their dodgy tactics, so seeing this deal and the amount of clicks made me motivated enough to write this late post which may not have a target audience anymore.

As many of the comments in the deal have noted, these cables are highly likely not MFi Certified by Apple. A lot of sellers have been tacking the term on but in ALL-CAPS ("MFI") and advertising it literally as 'Made for iPhones'. (Some rare listings I have seen selling the same cables as others have noted in their description that this is not the Apple MFi program, and that real ones would be a lot higher price)

Obviously, getting MFi certified doesn't mean everything about the cable. A helpful guide I have seen and still regularly use is this one (and you can find similar elsewhere). The Russian measures the resistance and amperage of several Ali cables and ranks them (and surprise, KALUOS ranks 4th last, below the cheapest cable he could find at a market.

Some tips:
* Look in the description. MFi Certified is something they pay a lot for, so the brands would be proud and loud. Be wary of "MFI" and "For Apple"
* Don't by stingy about legit cables (though not MFi isn't the end of the world). They make a difference and your devices are expensive. Use various guides and trusted 'brands', Ali listings change a lot and you'll see many different types and prices
* Don't hesitate to message the seller first, they are usually quick to respond, timezone permitting
* Be aware of how Ali Buy Protection Works. It is fantastic. If you have an issue with your cable at all, know when your protection expires and don't hesitate to contact the seller or go through a claim, and you will usually get a refund

I am by no means an expert and could be totally wrong, but I hope my two cents will help someone.

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  • +1 vote

    +1. Found your comment very helpful.

    Glad I did walk away.


    Thanks for taking the time to write this!


    Thanks very much, I'm reading this a bit late. I bought one previously it arrived and worked for a month now works on some apple devices not others and my MRS needs another Apple cable for work. So at $1.07 bough 3 more because I thought they were MFI . I think I'll just buy your recommendation now!!!


    good post. I have bought many things from AliExpress but I would never, ever, think any item is a genuine brand name or in this case MFI.


    Great post +1.
    Always tempted by cheap cables but they stop working soon after, can't rely on them for travelling :(


    Pretty much any lightning cables sold on AliExpress will not be MFI certified and if branded it will be counterfeit.