The Washington Post

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)

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.

Related stories:

Justice Department proposes sweeping punishments against Apple

Obama veto of iPhone ban part of much larger fight

Follow The Post’s new tech blog, The Switch, where technology and policy connect.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
From clubfoot to climbing: Double amputee lives life of adventure
Learn to make traditional soup dumplings
In defense of dads
Play Videos
How to make head cheese
Perks of private flying
The rise and fall of baseball cards
Play Videos
Husband finds love, loss in baseball
New hurdles for a Maryland tradition
How to survive a shark attack
Play Videos
Portland's most important meal of the day
What you need to know about Legionnaires' disease
How to save and spend money at college

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.