Apple trade-in deal on chargers after tragedy
Apple is launching a trade-in programme for chargers after a Chinese woman died from a suspected electric shock while using a fake device on her iPhone.
For less than HK$80, Apple will swap fake or third-party chargers for authentic Apple-manufactured ones from August 16. The program is being rolled out in mainland China this Friday.
The special price of US$10 [about HK$78] is limited to one per gadget and the offer will last until October 18.
Apple said in its announcement yesterday that people who wanted to exchange their counterfeit chargers would have to turn in at least one USB adaptor and bring their iPhone, iPad or iPod to an Apple Retail store for serial number validation.
A USB power adaptor charger from the Apple Store costs HK$158.
"Recent reports have suggested that some counterfeit and third-party adaptors may not be designed properly and could result in safety issues," it said.
"While not all third-party adaptors have an issue, we are announcing a USB Power Adaptor Takeback Programme to enable customers to acquire properly designed adaptors."
The company said it would dispose of adaptors in an environmentally friendly way.
At the Apple Store yesterday, customer Eric Zou Jinze said the policy may have loopholes and that US$10 was too expensive.
"It should be bumped down to at least half or a quarter of that price," he said. "I will consider buying one myself just in case - but even so, I worry that there will be a reselling problem."
Zang Di, 18, of Wuhan , Hubei province, who had just bought a charger at Apple's Causeway Bay store, said it was a "wise move … to ensure consumer safety and discourage fake chargers on the market".
Last month, Apple pledged to investigate reports that 23-year-old Ma Ailun was electrocuted in Xinjiang after she picked up her iPhone 5 to answer a call while the battery was being charged.
The iPhone and its accessories were handed to Xinjiang police for investigation.