Apple starts trade-in program for third-party chargers


An employee handles an Apple Inc. iPhone 4S on display inside a re:Store, a premium Apple product reseller, in Moscow, on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. (Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg)
August 6, 2013

Good news for those of you with doubts about that off-brand Apple charger you picked up on a spin through the airport: Apple’s willing to take it off your hands and sell you its own, official, USB charger at a discount.

The program comes after recent reports that a Chinese woman had been electrocuted by a charging iPhone.

As The Post’s Caitlin Dewey reported, Apple said last month that it was investigating reports that 23-year-old Ma Ailun had died after answering her iPhone and offered its condolences to her family.

On Tuesday, the company announced that it will offer customers with concerns about third-party chargers the option to make the swap starting on Aug. 16. The program will run through Oct. 18.

“Recent reports have suggested that some counterfeit and third party adapters may not be designed properly and could result in safety issues,” the company said on its Web site. “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.”

The chargers will cost $10, down from the usual $19 price. To qualify, consumers have to bring in at least one USB power adapter and their iPhone, iPad or iPod to an Apple Retail store for validation.

The program covers third-party or counterfeit devices consumers may have on hand, though Apple doesn’t have a list of specific brands or devices from likely hundreds of companies that make their own Apple accessories. Instead, the company is letting consumers make their own judgement calls based on whether they feel comfortable with their chargers.

Those interested in making a trade can take their chargers to any Apple retail store or authorized service provider.

“We are offering this special takeback program for any USB power adapter made for use with iPhone, iPad and iPod for which you have concerns,” the company said.

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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