Shocker: study shows that 99% of fake chargers are not safe

Shocker: study shows that 99% of fake chargers are not safe
Through the years, we've written quite a lot of stories about smartphones that catch fire seemingly out of nowhere. Now, as long as the phone in question is not a Galaxy Note 7, very often the reason for the spontaneous combustion is a cheap, probably counterfeit, 3rd party-made charger.

But how real is the danger from such chargers? Is it one in a hundred, or is each and every one of them a potential threat to your device's health and your own safety? A study by UK consumer protection group Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) shows that a fake charger is pretty much guaranteed to be dangerous.

The investigators purchased 400 different Apple chargers — all bought online and from different retailers / parts of the world. Of them, 397 failed to pass a "basic safety test". The team also checked a number of items obtained from charities or 2nd hand shops. Of them, 15% to 27% (depending on which urban area the items were from) were also deemed as potentially unsafe.

Now, the study does not detail the exact type of safety tests performed and did not go to say what danger exactly the fake Apple chargers posed. It could be faulty wiring that could cause an electrical fire while you are charging your gizmo, or another issue that could degrade your battery's quality, thus possibly causing your iPhone or iPad to do like a Note 7 and burn a hole through your nightstand, pocket, or car mount. But, for what it is, it's a pretty good reminder that cheap chargers or cables may end up costing you quite a bit in the long run. The paper also reminds us that if we are buying a second-hand electronic device, it would be a good idea to check its plug pins and wires for any irregularities, its body for damages, and to look for manufacturer-specific markings.

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source: CTSI via Gizmodo

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14 Comments

2. bambamboogy02

Posts: 836; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

Chargers should always be purchased of a trusted brand, preferably from a place you can walk-in. Paying a little more for peace of mind. Why do people cheap out when it comes to this? This involves electricity and transferring a charge to your electronic device. Why take a risk?

8. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Because the study specifically focused on finding and testing chargers that were EXPECTED to fail. Engineers were sent to collect chargers from second hand dealers looking specifically for chargers that would fail as the original article explains (something I am sure the author of iPA didn't read). The chargers were tested with high voltage to test the output current and that is the test where only 3 out of 400 passed. This is strange because they did not discuss at which threshold they failed and saying high voltage could mean anything from 10V for a wall charger to 220V (if they went over that then they're just being dicks). TLDR: Most 3rd party chargers are perfectly fine. Chargers picked with the expectation of failure ended up failing....SHOCKER.

3. Ticklemyfancy

Posts: 214; Member since: Oct 09, 2016

How can they declare that without coming forth with the parameters used to deem the chargers unsafe.

6. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

Either way cheap generic ones will have more faults and a higher failure rate, whether more dangerous or not.

10. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1318; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

The parameter was that they weren't official Apple chargers.

5. SIGPRO

Posts: 2815; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Shocker Apple products are overpriced.........ifans are broke so they buy cheap stuff! This is 100% fault of Apple....shocker huh....

11. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Shocker.......village dumbass contradicts himself in a matter of seconds. Shocker......I'm laughing at his dumbass as I type this XD.

14. SIGPRO

Posts: 2815; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

I don't buy crappy rotten fruit products.....shocker huh. Not a sheep like you!

7. skyline88

Posts: 697; Member since: Jul 15, 2013

yes to third party chargers from reputable companies with proper warranty. no to imitation / fake / OEM chargers.

9. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3097; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

No Sh1t.

12. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Well third party chargers can be just fine, random charger you bought in random weird store? yeah, I'm not sure what people expect there. If I buy a silly cheap anything at a random store, I'm not going to expect it to last very long nor am I going to use it with something significantly more expensive then it itself is. If people honestly expect otherwise then yeah...common sense is lacking.

15. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

I don't know why but so many people buy iphones but can't afford the original iphone charger when theirs get broken?

16. Tanii

Posts: 132; Member since: Apr 30, 2015

Back then you could purchase a charger for just $0.60 here in our areas, now they cost $2, $2.5, of course they would be trying their best to save as much as possible for them, resulting in non-quality product in customer's hands, they don't even have any brand name that could get affected by selling low-quality products. Totally vice versa to original chargers.

17. KyleRiemen

Posts: 170; Member since: Oct 29, 2014

In Anker i trust.

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