Apple to replace counterfeit chargers with worldwide programme
Power adaptor replacement programme comes after a Chinese woman was reportedly electrocuted while using a non-Apple charger
After a Chinese woman was reportedly electrocuted last month while using a non-Apple charger on her iPhone 5, Apple has announced a worldwide programme to replace third-party and counterfeit USB power adaptors.
Consumers can buy an authentic USB adaptor for the equivalent of 10 US dollars (£6.51). Apple chargers normally cost around £15 in the UK, the Guardian reports.
Ma Ailun, 23, collapsed and died in China last month after answering a call on her iPhone while it was charging.
Apple did not specifically refer to this incident when it launched the charger replacement programme, but said: “Recent reports have suggested that some counterfeit and third-party adaptors may not be designed properly and could result in safety issues.
“While not all third-party adaptors have an issue, we are announcing a USB power adaptor takeback programme to enable customers to acquire properly designed adaptors.
“Customer safety is a top priority at Apple.”
Phil Buckle, director general of the Electrical Safety Council, also warned about the dangers of cheap USB chargers.
He told the Guardian: “Whilst everyone loves a bargain, if a cheap electrical product turns out to be fake then it is, at best, a waste of money. At worst, it could result in the death of a loved one.
“More than four million counterfeit goods were seized coming into the UK last year and one of the top fakes was phone chargers. This is worrying as faulty electrical goods are a leading cause of severe electric shock in the UK and cause thousands of house fires each year. Counterfeit electrical goods almost always contain incorrect or faulty parts that can overheat or break just days after purchase.
“If the price is too good to be true, it probably is.”
The Apple initiative will take place at stores and authorised service providers from 16 August to 18 October.
Anyone who wants to take up the offer will have to provide the serial number of their iPhone, iPad or iPod, and hand over a USB charger. The reduced price Apple chargers will be limited to one per Apple device.