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Apple has for long encouraged its faithful customers to use only the company’s self-branded chargers — and accordingly, to stay far, far away from the litany of less costly alternatives offered on the open market. And while some might argue that Apple’s request seems to be just another marketing tactic — you know, Apple trying to push its own accessories, an alarming new report seeks to shed a slightly different light on the importance of “only using Apple-brand chargers.”
According to investigators working in conjunction with the U.K.-based Chartered Trading Standards Institute, a leading consumer products advocacy group, out of 400 total “counterfeit” Apple chargers tested by the agency, only three (3) of them — less than 1 percent — had “enough insulation to protect users from damaging, potentially fatal electric shock,” as reported by CultofMac.
For his part, Chartered Trading’s Chief Executive, Leon Livermore, was quick to note that while Apple’s self-branded chargers may cost users an “up front premium,” the majority of counterfeit, third-party chargers on the market are “unknown entity entirely that could cost you your home or even your life, or the life of a loved-one.”
In accordance with its stern warning, Chartered Trading Standards Institute issued the following tips to help users identify a counterfeit Apple charger in the wild:
- “Examine the Plug pins – Plug the charger into a socket, but don’t switch it on or connect to a device. If the charger does not fit easily, the pins may be the wrong size. There should be at least 9.5mm (0.3in) between the edge of the pins and the edge of the charger.”
- “Markings – Look for a manufacturers’ brand name or logo, model and batch number. Check for the “CE” safety mark, but be aware it can be easily forged.”
- “Warnings and instructions – User instructions should include conditions and limitations of use, how to operate the charger safely, basic electric safety guidance and details of safe disposal.”
Chartered Trading’s report comes hot off the heels of Apple’s recent lawsuit against MobileStar, an Amazon-based, after-market accessory seller. In that lawsuit, MobileStar was held liable for allegedly advertising its products as being “Apple certified” — when, in fact, they were merely counterfeits falsely bearing the Apple name.
What with all the talk about exploding smartphones circulating the web lately, with the majority of those instances said to be caused by a customer’s involuntary use of counterfeit chargers, perhaps dropping that extra $19 on an Apple-brand AC adapter isn’t such a bad idea after all?
Do you use an Apple-branded charger to juice up your device? Let us know in the comments!