Sunday, 11 August 2013

Beware Fake Phone Chargers

It's become a big story recently that fake phone chargers can be dangerous. The major news outlets are reporting that people have bought chargers for their phones from cheap sources that are actually knock offs, which have then gone on to explode, catch fire or destroy their expensive phones.

As lovers of gadgets, surely that last thing any of us wants is for our shiny, expensive smartphone to get destroyed by a cheap chatty charger, right?

So why are these chargers suddenly under the spotlight?

In July, Apple started a charger amnesty in the US. Basically, if you had a fake iPhone charger you could return it to Apple for disposal and in turn, get an official charger for $10 instead of the normal $25. 

That is just in the US however, the same doesn't apply around the world.

The issue of fake accessories has been around for a long time, it's nothing new, however with the current rise of premium smartphones with expensive accessories, the market for cheap chargers has never been greater.

Availability is also an issue. Just search "iPhone charger" in eBay and you'll return hundreds of thousands of results, all of them cheap knock offs made in China. Now I'm not saying that all of them are dangerous, but I would suggest exercising caution around them.

In the UK, you need to look out for two things on anything you buy. The BSI Kite symbol:

And the European Commission CE logo:

These two symbols confirm that the device has been tested and built in accordance with UK and European law. They show that the product conforms to the standards expected of them. If these symbols are missing, it's a knock off, don't touch it.

The golden rule for me, however, is that if Apple are selling their chargers for £15 and someone on eBay is selling them for £1, it's too good to be true. No matter how much they say they're genuine chargers, they won't be. Move away from them and spend the extra on the official charger. It's better to be safe than sorry.


Apple have now extended the charger amnesty worldwide. So pop into an Apple store with your counterfeit chargers as soon as possible 

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