Knock-offs and generics can be a great, cheap alternative to legitimate brand name products. Most of the time, they look and work exactly like the real thing. Unfortunately, while they may work just fine, most counterfeits don’t undergo the same rigorous safety testing as their official counterparts.
When it comes to iPhone and iPad chargers, Amazon and eBay are well-stocked with cheap knock-offs. To many, they’re a cost-effective alternative to buying a real iPhone or iPad charger from Apple. Here’s the problem with a few of these fake chargers, though: they have been reported start fires and electrocute people!
At least, that’s what a few well-publicized stories lead us to believe. Apple hasn’t confirmed or denied anything, but many believe that’s why they’re offering $10 trade-ins for fake chargers in store. Let’s see what’s in store for those with fake chargers.
What to Expect When You Trade in Your Fake iPhone Charger
In response to a few electrified consumer horror stories, Apple has launched a USB power adapter trade-in program. The aim is to clear the streets of fake, faulty chargers. Until October 18th, consumers can walk into an Apple store, trade-in their fake chargers, and Apple will slice off $10 on the cost of an official Apple USB power charger.
As Apple explains:
Customer safety is a top priority at Apple. That’s why all of our products — including USB power adapters for iPhone, iPad, and iPod — undergo rigorous testing for safety and reliability and are designed to meet government safety standards around the world,”
But if you’re planning on bringing in a charger to see if it’s fake, you won’t find any answers. Apple claims the complexity of testing counterfeit adapters limits their ability to advise whether or not a charger is safe. Basically, it’s too time consuming and they would rather you just buy an official charger.
So why is there suddenly a swap and trade program?
Faulty Cables May Lead to Electrocution Danger
Like we mentioned earlier, Apple isn’t outright claiming this program is in response to the recent iPhone user executions in China.
In China, two people were electrocuted in recent weeks in accidents that some have tied to fake iPhone chargers. In Beijing, a man was shocked by his iPhone while it was charging and was stuck in a coma for over 10 days.
The other incident involved a Chinese woman electrocuted while charging — you guess it — her iPhone. Apple investigated her death and determined that neither she nor the man were using official Apple chargers.
Stores like this are terrible publicity for Apple. Hence, the fake charger trade-in program was launched. Whether or not they’re trying to save your skin or theirs is up for debate.
Why are consumers opting for counterfeit chargers, anyway? iPhone chargers sell for upwards of $39 on Apple’s website. Compare that to fake chargers that go for anywhere between $1.50-$4.99 on Amazon. It’s not hard to see why people go for the knock-offs.
Fortunately, Apple’s wising up and dropping the cost for iPhone and iPad chargers. Just bring in your fake charger and Apple knock $10 off an official charger. Remember, the deadline to take advantage of this offer is October 18.
Is Your iPhone Safe?
Luckily, these consumer horror stories are few and far between. That said, if you’re using an unofficial charger, it’s wise to head on over to the Apple store and swap it out. You don’t want to make headline news.
What do you think? Have you had any bad experiences with fake chargers and cables? Are you going to swap out your knock-off at the Apple store? Let us know in the comments section!