Apple extends takeback program for unofficial iPhone chargers to Europe

Apple is offering authentic USB iOS adapters at half price for customers that bring in old, non-official ones.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Apple is offering consumers in the US, China and now Europe and Australia discounts on its own device chargers when they drop in counterfeit or third-party adapters.

Customers can purchase Apple-made adapters for iOS devices, which usually cost $19 in the US, at a roughly $10 discount when they return a third-party adapter to one of Apple's retail stores or its authorised service providers.

Apple announced the program for the US and China first, but has now extended it to the UK, France, Germany, Canada, Australia and Japan.

The program begins in all other markets on 16 August after beginning in China the previous week, following Apple's confirmation in July that it was investigating an incident where a Chinese woman was electrocuted when she picked up her iPhone while it was charging.

According to Apple, the takeback campaign is meant to tackle "safety issues" linked to some counterfeit and third-party adapters that may not go through the same testing as Apple's own.

"Recent reports have suggested that some counterfeit and third party adapters may not be designed properly and could result in safety issues," Apple says on its support page.  

"While not all third party adapters have an issue, we are announcing a USB Power Adapter Takeback Program to enable customers to acquire properly designed adapters."

Although the program is aimed at non-Apple USB adapters, it will in practice be open to iOS device owners who bring in old authentic adapters since Apple says its retail and service partner staff cannot advise them on the authenticity or safety of the adapters they bring in.

Upon exchange, the authentic adapter will cost $10 in the US, AUD$14 including GST in Australia, CAD $11 in Canada, £8 GBP (including VAT) in the UK, € 10 (including VAT) in France and Germany, 1,000 yen (tax included) in Japan, and 68 RMB in China.

The offer is limited to one adapter per iOS device and will be available until 18 October.

Apple has detailed on its website how to identify adapters that come from the company, such as the green dot on its 5W USB Power Adapter for the iPhone 4, 4S, 5 and iPad Mini, although some counterfeit ones look remarkably similar.

Safety science company UL, whose logo appears on Apple’s authentic adapters, issued an alert in March after discovering counterfeit iOS adapters bearing its own logo. tell tale signs the products were counterfeit included imperfectly copied Apple markings, such as “Designed Abble in California” and “Designed by China in California”.

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