Wednesday, August 07, 2013

In wake of charger electrocution, Apple to offer discounted replacements for cloned chargers

Following an cloned iDevice charger electrocution death reported in mid-July, on Monday Apple announced a trade-in program for those wondering if their third-party chargers are safe.

The program kicks off in China on Aug. 9 and in the U.S. on Aug. 16. The program will be available at both official Apple Retail Stores and Authorized Apple Resellers. A customer can bring in a charger and receive a discount -- pricing the charging block at $10.

The program will run until Oct. 18; customers must bring in the corresponding device in order to be eligible. Only one charger per device can be traded in.

Both 5W and 12W chargers are available from Apple's website for $19, so the discount cuts the price nearly in half. It's not as cheap as the very inexpensive ones you might find on eBay, but it is a decent price for the official Apple charger.

Notably, there are reputable firms that offer inexpensive third-party iDevice chargers.

In the most recent example of a charging incident, a 23-year-old Chinese woman, Ma Ailun, was using a third-party charger with her iPhone 4, rather than an Apple-manufactured one. When she answered a call, the device was still charging, and she was electrocuted.

Immediately after her death was reported, Apple erected a webpage on its Chinese site so that customers could properly identify Apple-built adapters.

Apple said:
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.
Apple added that there is no way for an Apple Retail or Apple Authorized Service Provider to test an adapter for safety, and that any chargers turned in will be recycled properly.

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