See if your iPad charger is a fake before you burn down your house

charger

Can you spot the real iPad charger?

You probably don’t waste much thought on where to plug-in your iPhone, but not using a real Apple charger has its disadvantages. Not only are they higher quality, and safer, but they also charge faster than a 5W Chinese knockoff.

Millions of cheap Apple copycats make it difficult to tell whether a charger is the genuine article and have been blamed on everything from iPad explosions to spontaneous electrocutions, but thanks to a teardown comparison from Ken Shirriff there’s one little flaw to look for that gives the dangerous fakers away.

Just look for the signature.

From the outside the iPad chargers in the picture above appear identical – different story when you bust the plastic open, but who has time for that? If you look closely you can see the real charger on the left has different text than Mr. Knockoff on the right.

The counterfeit removed “Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China” and the manufacturer “Foxlink”, probably for legal reasons. (But strangely, the counterfeit still says “TM and © 2010 Apple Inc.”) The counterfeit charger displays a bunch of certifications (such as UL) that it doesn’t actually have.

Shirrif’s teardown reveals there’s no way for the fake iPad charger to pass safety testing, but how do you spot an equally fake and unsafe iPhone charger that hasn’t passed safety inspections? Same method, only you might need a magnifying glass.

fakeiphonecharger

Counterfeit Reports found that like the fake iPad charger, fake iPhone chargers are missing the signature “Designed by Apple in California” mark. These two chargers for use in the U.S. and Europe misspelled “Applg” and “Designd.”

Apple wasn’t just bragging about itself in last year’s horrible “Designed by Apple” ad. It was showing how its been marking its territory.

  • Guest

    Designd is spelled wrong. That is the clue, yes? Where’s an editor? Can’t afford one?

    • damn-u-pandora

      are you slow? It is spelled wrong on the counterfeit … which is why they are pointing it out. Read article again, and sound it out.

    • Jhabril_Harris

      He’s pointing out that there are two different versions of the counterfeits: one with Designed spelled wrong and one with Apple spelled wrong. Although I do agree on the fact that this site desperately needs and editor.

  • Tj

    Ironically, the word “counterfeit” in the link for Counterfeit Reports in the article is spelled incorrectly.

  • Andy Brooks

    i have used thees fantastic pluges from China and I can persanly gauntee that thay are made with the highest attentain to detail.. Our engineers wok around the clock insuring that they are great fantasic! Do not listen tu these skare stories about big fire and danger.. They are the best and most fantastic pluges ever made!

  • macloo stanley

    Normally, it is observed that consumer don’t possess enough
    expertise about the handling of this product. Its power transfer technology is
    marvelous as carrying qualitative performance at present. There are numerous
    options related to its price, specifications, appearance, heaviness, and many
    more. iPad charger is normally light in its weight with great power conversion
    machinery. Customers must visit some dependable sources for required knowledge
    to decrease their qualms related to this device. Visit CHOETECH Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HZF6UD4

About the author

Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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