Apple has added a new page to its website in China which urges customers to use official Apple USB adapters with their iOS devices. The move comes after two Chinese iPhone users were electrocuted by third-party chargers this month, which left one dead and the other in a coma for ten days.
“Apple always put the user’s safety first, so all of our products are subject to stringent safety and reliability testing, and designed to meet government safety standards around the world, including for the iPhone and iPad USB power adapter,” Apple’s new page reads.
“When you charge your iPhone or iPad, we suggest that you use all USB power adapters with correspondingly-labeled USB cables. These adapters and cables can be purchased as individual items from Apple and authorized Apple retailers.”
The Cupertino company also provides a series of pictures which show how users can check if their iPhone and iPad USB adapters are genuine Apple products.
Apple doesn’t mention the dangers of using third-party alternatives, but if you’ve been following the headlines in over the past week, you’ll already be aware that two people were recently electrocuted by iPhone chargers in China in the space of a week.
Ma Ailun, a 23-year-old flight attendant from the Xinjiang region in western China, was electrocuted to death when she placed a call on her iPhone 5 that was charging with an unofficial USB adapter. Prior to that, Wu Jiantong, a 30-year-old man, was put into a coma for ten days after being shocked when plugging in his iPhone.
Apple’s USB adapters are designed to output power at 3-5 volts, but they can take in power at up to 240 volts. If the components inside the adapters aren’t reliable — which is often the case with cheap, third-party knock-offs — then the voltage may not be reduced, and all 240 volts can be sent into the device and into its user.
Interestingly, Apple’s page is exclusive to China at the moment — where both electrocution incidents happened — and it’s yet to offer the same guidance to users in other countries.