Deadly cheapo chargers spur Apple to slash its prices

Following a report of a fatality in China involving a counterfeit power adapter, the computer giant is offering trade-ins at 50% off.

By Aimee Picchi Aug 6, 2013 1:46PM

iPhone USB power adapter (© Apple Inc.)Apple (AAPL) is hoping a bargain on its power adapters will entice consumers away from cheaper counterfeits. 

The computer giant is slashing the price on its iPhone, iPad and iPod USB adapters (pictured) to $10, or about half off the $19 list price.

The decision comes after a 23-year-old Chinese woman reportedly died after answering a call while her phone was powering up via a third-party charger, Fortune notes. Another incident is said to have occurred several days later, when a Beijing man wound up in a coma after using a third-party charger, ComputerWorld says.

While Apple didn't directly address the death or injury, it wrote in a statement that "reports have suggested that some counterfeit and third party adapters may not be designed properly and could result in safety issues." It added, "Customer safety is a top priority at Apple."

Starting on Aug. 16, customers can drop off any third-party chargers at an Apple store or authorized service provider. Apple said it will dispose of the chargers in an "environmentally friendly way." 

Replacements will be sold for $10 "for a limited time," but customers need to turn in at least one charger to qualify. The deal will end Oct. 18. 

The offer to replace chargers comes at a delicate time for Apple, whose Chinese sales plunged in the second quarter. Local rivals are offering cheaper devices, while Samsung is rolling out new models at several price points, Reuters noted last month. 

Apple is known for its high prices, and even at $10, the charger is more expensive than some rival devices. Take this charger offered on eBay (EBAY), which costs only $3.49. It also branches away from Apple's basic white, offering consumers a rainbow of colors to pick from.

Still, it's probably worth an extra $6.50 to get peace of mind while picking up a plugged-in device.

Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi. 

More on moneyNOW

Aug 6, 2013 3:27PM
The chargers probably cost $5 to produce so Apple will only have a 100% profit instead of their normal 300% profit - don't worry Apple will still survive.
Aug 6, 2013 4:03PM

So 2 weeks ago, upgraded to I Phone 5 from 4.  Had to buy a new car charger or plug adapter for $29.99.  Come on!    My husband upgraded his Samsung Droid and older chargers are all reusable.


Where is the consumer outrage on this system?  A wire, plug and some plastic---$30?

Aug 6, 2013 3:36PM

How about bringing down the prices of many products.  Also, have production plants in America that are regulated and give American's jobs. 

Aug 6, 2013 3:36PM
I haven't had an Apple charger cable last more then a couple months around my house with all the kids, I bought 4 packs of 6 foot long ones on ebay for less then $10.00 bucks, they last longer and the 6 foot length makes them easier to reach an outlet, every connection cable made is junk, were it connects to the plug ends. Maybe Apple should look into longer cords and better connections if it truly wants to help it's customers out.
Aug 6, 2013 3:08PM

Nice try, I guess, but doubt it will be effective.  They are essentially saying, "Give us the adapter you paid $3.50 for, and pay us another $10, and we'll give you an Apple certified adapter."  So one of these consumers effectively has to pay $13.50 for a $20 an Apple adapter (that has an inherently huge markup).  If these consumers had $13.50 to spend on an adapter, they probably would have just bought the $20 one in the first place.  This program won't do much other than act as PR against the segment who don't do math/logic.


A more effective "campaign" would have been to just drop the price to $10-12.  Still more than the knockoffs, still with decent margins for Apple, but not so high as to bar a reasonable person from paying for the peace of mind.


Aug 6, 2013 4:29PM
Aug 6, 2013 6:51PM
Paid a visit to the Genius at Apple Store for my iPhone 4S and its red hot, dying 1 1/2 yr old battery (how many of you as well?). Apple is willing to replace the "Made in China" battery for $80.00. Why am I not smiling!
Aug 6, 2013 6:34PM

Slave labor, why are people mad at Wal-Mart? Apple has Wal-Mart looking like Boy Scouts.

 For what you pay for any Apple product, they should be made in America.

Aug 6, 2013 9:39PM
Apple... in 5 years we'll only know it as a fruit.
Aug 6, 2013 4:46PM
Ya know...EVERYONE would own an Apple if their pricing structure was close to reasonable. 
Aug 6, 2013 6:03PM
I bet this eBay seller is loving the free promotion from this MSN article.
Aug 6, 2013 4:57PM
omg if i see people with apple products i totally make fun of them losers willing to hand over there money for useless restrictive obsolete garabage
Aug 6, 2013 2:44PM
Shows what a great company Apple is. They are not responsible for 3rd party crap. Microsoft could learn a great deal from Apple. Oh forgot, they already did. Just not enough.
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