Apple has issued a recall for the ultracompact USB adapter that shipped with iPhone 3Gs sold in North America, Japan and certain countries in Latin America. The rectangular metal prongs that insert into a wall socket have shown enough of a propensity to break off, exposing users to the risk of electric shock, the company was spurred to offer redesigned adapters free of charge.
Web replacement forms went up on the Apple support site Friday; replacement adapters are expected to begin shipping on October 10. You can also exchange adapters at Apple Retail stores beginning October 10, according to the Apple communication.
Replacement adapters will feature the distinctive green dot shown below.
UPDATE: Initial analyst reaction to the recall news indicates this is more of a tempest in a teapot than a black eye for Apple. Shaw Wu of American Technology Research commented that while the threat of electric shock is a “negative” with the potential for “headline risk,” the number of people likely to be affected by the faulty adapters is believed to be minimal. The recall can also be viewed as a customer service coup for the company, which keeps its standards high by “doing the right thing” and offering free replacements.
The humorous side to this development, if there is one, was highlighted by a commenter on the MacRumors forum, who wrote, “I thought the sparks meant it was working.”