Apple Launches Third-party iPhone Charger Takeback Program

| News

Following the death of a woman in China who was electrocuted by a knockoff iPhone charger Apple is launching a voluntary takeback program for third-party chargers. From August 16 through October 18 Apple retail stores and authorized service providers will take and dispose of any third party iPhone charger customers are concerned about.

Worried about that third-party iPhone charger? Apple will take it off your hands.Worried about that third-party iPhone charger? Apple will take it off your hands.

As part of the takeback program Apple will also offer customers returning third-party chargers a US$9 discount on an Apple-branded charger. Apple's own iPhone charger is regularly priced at $19.

You'll need to bring your iPhone along for serial number verification because Apple is limiting the takeback and discount program to one per device. The offer applies to iPhones, iPads, and iPods.

A 23 year old woman was killed in China in July when a defective third-party iPhone charger sent a deadly shock through her body. Apple and local authorities looked into the incident, and the iPhone maker quickly added a page to its China website detailing how to identify official Apple-branded chargers and warning customers to avoid third-party products.

The chargers Apple takes back will be disposed of in an environmentally responsible way, so there don't need to be any concerns that a landfill will suddenly be overrun with third-party iPhone chargers.

[Some image elements courtesy Shutterstock]

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The iPhone charger that killed a woman in China wasn't approved through Apple's hardware certification program, and no doubt the company will use this as an example why customers should stick with Apple-branded, or Apple-certified, accessories. Apple didn't have to launch a voluntary takeback program, but it's a really smart move.

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It’s also a good way to get customers to come back to the store and play with a few new machines while they wait for their $9. Not that Apple stores need more foot traffic, but good retail practice puts your products in front of current and new customers as often as possible.



A very smart move, indeed. If an unapproved third-party charger could cause such a tragedy once, it could surely happen again. That would be both another terrible loss of life, as well as a PR nightmare for Apple. When the original tragedy occurred, headlines weren’t “Unapproved USB charger kills woman,” but “iPhone kills woman.” Were it to happen again, with similar headlines, the iPhone/Apple brand could take a major hit.


Exchange happened also with apple chargers for the iPhone 3. Apparently, the prongs could break off in the socket and lead to problems of an electrical nature. If you have one of those lying around, you might think of a free upgrade.

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