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Here's why Apple's iPhone charger is so expensive

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Here's why Apple's iPhone charger is so expensive
Ever wondered why something as small and as simple as the iPhone charger can cost around $30? You’re, of course, right to notice it’s small, but it’s not as simple as it looks on the inside and that’s one reason justifying Apple’s pricing policy - its adapter is much safer than what many other manufacturers offer and even goes atop some technical requirements to bring even better quality and safety.

Ken Shirriff tore down one of those adapters to get a deeper understanding of what drives the price and found out some interesting things, and an in-depth analysis you can check out on his site at the source below. And here are the technical details about the iPhone charger:

"Apple's power adapter is clearly a high-quality power supply designed to produce carefully filtered power. Apple has obviously gone to extra effort to reduce EMI interference, probably to keep the charger from interfering with the touchscreen. When I opened the charger up, I expected to find a standard design, but I've compared the charger to the Samsung charger and several other high-quality industry designs, and Apple goes beyond these designs in several ways...
"Apple's design provides extra safety in a few ways... the super-strong AC prongs, and the complex over-temperature / over-voltage shutdown circuit. Apple's isolation distance between primary and secondary appears to go beyond the regulations...
"Apple's iPhone charger crams a lot of technology into a small space. Apple went to extra effort to provide higher quality and safety than other name-brand chargers, but this quality comes at a high cost."

Still, there’s a hefty premium on the price as you’d expect, but at least now you know what justifies it, right?

source: Ken Shirriff via Gizmodo

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posted on 21 May 2012, 07:26 43

1. darktranquillity (Posts: 284; Member since: 28 Feb 2012)

Simple, iphone is overpriced same goes with the charger.

posted on 21 May 2012, 16:57 6

30. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)

0402 SMD resistor = $0.002
0805 SMD capacitor = $0.007
SMD transistor = $0.02
fusible resistor = $0.03
1A 600V (1J) diode = $0.06
thermistor = $0.07
Y capacitor = $0.08
3.3uF 400V electrolytic capacitor = $0.10
TL431 = $0.10
1.5uH inductor = $0.12
SCD 34 diode = $0.13
2801 optocoupler = $0.16
1HNK60 transistor = $0.22
USB jack = $0.33
100uF tantalum capacitor = $0.34
L6565 IC = $0.55
330uF tantalum polymer capacitor (Sanyo POSCAP) = $0.98
flyback transformer = $1.36

Does it look like ~ $30.00 ?


posted on 23 May 2012, 02:42

48. saadgadit (Posts: 8; Member since: 23 May 2012)

And the amount of research they put in to place ol this stuff where it is??

posted on 24 May 2012, 13:17

49. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)

You think that it took a lot of time to make researches?

+ $0.05 for each device and here you go...

posted on 21 May 2012, 18:23 1

34. sithman (banned) (Posts: 299; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)

Awww shutup

posted on 22 May 2012, 14:10

42. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)


posted on 21 May 2012, 07:27 21

2. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

Somehow, I suspect there is a design patent held by Apple on their charger. Sigh.

posted on 21 May 2012, 07:32 24

3. andro. (Posts: 1999; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)

To be honest all proper decent phone chargers are safe and efficient as long as they are not the 5.99 bargin basket variety. We stocked official apple chargers but no longer do because they didn't sell as nobody bought them or wanted to spend so much for so little,its the apple overpricing policy as usual.

A decent 3rd party apple charger was half the price and outsold the apple branded one 20:1. Seeing an offical apple charger side by side in a store almost double the price of official htc,samsung,sony micro usb chargers really puts the apple cash gouging policy into perspective.

posted on 21 May 2012, 07:57 4

7. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4857; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)

I know what you mean. People will always go for the cheaper ESPECIALLY if it comes from a decent 3rd party manufacturer.

+1 you Mr. Bender! lol

posted on 21 May 2012, 17:05 2

31. gallitoking (Posts: 4720; Member since: 17 May 2011)

keep enjoying those plastic phones with a cheap charger... not my fault you can afford a above average charger..

posted on 21 May 2012, 17:20 3

33. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

you need new lines. you and taco both. its so tired and stupid. I expect better trolling out of you, gallito. now become a man troll and take it to the next level!

posted on 21 May 2012, 21:56

37. RazaAsad (Posts: 100; Member since: 24 Nov 2011)

:) Love your comment. I have the same opinion about both and in beginning I assumed they did that on purpose to spoil Apple's brand image and then I learned they are plain "stupi*". It is said "An intelligent enemy is better than a dumb friend" :) No offense.

posted on 21 May 2012, 23:10 2

38. gallitoking (Posts: 4720; Member since: 17 May 2011)

I am not here to agreed with everyone... fandroids are the dumb ones... saying the Apple chargers is expensive when their inferior charges cost about the same...look closely and will see who is dumber

posted on 22 May 2012, 04:55 2

39. andro. (Posts: 1999; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)

what gave you the impression we can't afford it?! I could easily afford to buy dozens but having enough mental sense means I can get the exact same elsewhere for a much better price.

Its hilarious how I fans trolling has now gone from "you have cheap phones" to you have below average chargers!

posted on 22 May 2012, 14:11

43. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)

keep enjoying your FRAGILE GLASS PHONE

posted on 28 May 2012, 08:54

50. ChollaAnythingApple (Posts: 9; Member since: 14 Apr 2011)

i agree with you.

posted on 21 May 2012, 07:37 11

4. xtplnet (Posts: 59; Member since: 03 Mar 2012)

I am sure Apple design for the products are topnotch but they are not as revolutionary as Nokia . They amaze me with Nokia N9 and Nokia Pureview.

posted on 21 May 2012, 09:37 3

19. frydaexiii (Posts: 1460; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)

Do people even know the meaning of revolutionary anymore?

What so revolutionary about the N9?

and sure the Pureview is the first phone with a 40+ MP camera, but it still runs Symbian, what so revolutionary about that?

posted on 21 May 2012, 12:37 1

25. xtplnet (Posts: 59; Member since: 03 Mar 2012)

I am sorry dude , to undustand what revolutionary about N9 you have to use it once . Its simple swipe UI and Polycarbonate material make you wana keep the phone in hands all time.

posted on 21 May 2012, 07:46 6

5. wendygarett (unregistered)

only haters cant afford it :)

posted on 21 May 2012, 15:17 1

29. humandroid (Posts: 58; Member since: 11 May 2012)

And only retards insist on it :)

posted on 21 May 2012, 21:39

36. wendygarett (unregistered)

Yup thats me :)

posted on 22 May 2012, 14:13

44. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)

so you rather spend 30$ on a expensive charger rather then save money for gas or other needs? I think you're the only hater & idiot on here. At least we can remove and replace OUR BATTERY unlike your crappy enclose door

posted on 21 May 2012, 07:49 10

6. e.wvu (unregistered)

Since the charger is soooo innovative, they must charge you a fortune for it.

posted on 21 May 2012, 19:20

35. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)

it is pretty innovative though.. for example it turns the power on/off 70,000 times a second just to make sure it gets the right voltage... and i personally would never spend the money for one, but it is innovative-- idk if said innovations are necessary though

posted on 21 May 2012, 08:03 4

8. spikyhead (Posts: 3; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)

Oh the hype again.

posted on 21 May 2012, 08:09 15

9. pandamaja (Posts: 16; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

Artice: NOPE. Its expensive because it has an apple logo on it somewhere.

posted on 21 May 2012, 08:10 9

10. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

zomg, they crammed an extra 2mm of wiring at a cost of $0.001. That soo justifies the hefty price tag!

posted on 21 May 2012, 08:13 6

11. bigbmc26 (Posts: 43; Member since: 10 May 2012)

Am I missing something? Most OEM charge $30 for the USB charging adapter. BlackBerry has it for $29.99 on their site. Samsung has it for $29.99. They're all overpriced, lol. I guess the difference is retailers have the option of discounting the other OEMs. Nazi Apple doesn't believe in discounts, that would take money out of their pockets.

posted on 21 May 2012, 08:19 1

12. ibap (Posts: 765; Member since: 09 Sep 2009)

bigbmc has it right.

MSRP is largely a joke these days. Except when it is Apple.

Even the comment earlier about the 5.99 bargain bin variety - discontinued designs that were manufactured in large quantities can often be had for that price or less, and are OEM. They work fine, and let you keep chargers easily in multiple places. Until they figure out how to put a really long-running battery in heavily used phones, you need to do this.

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