Nearly a year ago, we told you the story of a Chinese flight attendant, who was allegedly killed from a shock she received when she answered a call
on her Apple iPhone 5
. Over the next several weeks, we passed along reports about people who were severely injured from a shock
they received by merely touching their iPhone or iPad. If there was one common thread that ran throughout these experiences, it was that these people had third party chargers on their devices.
Apple tried to get these third party chargers "off the streets" by instituting an exchange program
and also by educating consumers
. But go into any pharmacy in the U.S. and you will see the Chinese made chargers, priced low enough to entice buyers.
Third party chargers can damage the U2 CI chip (circled) which is involved in recharging the battery
These cheaply made chargers, which do not qualify under the Made For iPhone program (MFi), are a danger to your phone as well as your life. These third party chargers cause damage to a component on an internal logic board that deals with the battery. This component, the U2 IC chip, controls the recharging of a battery on the iPhone 5. The cheaper Lightning knockoffs burnout the chip which means that once the battery is out of power, your phone is dead. Even when a brand new power cell is placed into an iPhone 5, once the battery life hits 0%, the cell cannot be recharged and the phone is essentially bricked.
The problem is that the third party chargers do not regulate the charging mechanism inside the phone, leading to the release of excessive voltage that can damage the chips inside the device. Replacing a fried U2 IC chip can cost over $100, so next time you reach into the bin to pick out a cheap charger, remember that the money you save on purchasing the knockoff part won' be enough to cover repairing the damages caused by the third party charger. And of course, there is the chance that your life is in danger too. For a few bucks more, you can purchase the Apple certified part, keeping you and your phone safe.