Why You Should Avoid Fake iPad Chargers at All Costs

We have to say it is indeed weird that one would spend vast amounts of money to buy a premium product, such as an iPad, then complain if the need arises to spend a little bit more for a decent, official spare charger. Many of you will already know of the huge amounts of counterfeit chargers available in the market and the big bucks the people behind them make. But a new side-by-side tear-down of a real vs. a fake charger demonstrates that the malpractices used in these counterfeit ones can lead to fires, minor explosions, and damage to your Apple device.

As consumers, most of us should be aware that buying official chargers and accessories is more about general safety as they protect the well-being of our devices. Using counterfeit ones can affect the integrity of your device’s battery, but as we’ve seen in incidents before, it can also damage property and endanger life. A hands-on inspection of a fake iPad charger by one expert explains precisely why one should proceed with such caution.

The main fact is that your official Apple charger is properly insulated, which is integral in ensuring that each component and part runs efficiently and without issue. The counterfeit one, as you may notice, doesn’t offer any proper insulation at all, which leaves it susceptible to burning and other issues. Another fact: the fake one only manages to pump out 5.9W compared to the genuine’s ability for 10W, This means that picking up a cheaper option will result in your iPad taking twice as long to charge to capacity.

In all photos below, the genuine charger is on the left, while the counterfeit one is on the right.





Recently Apple seems to be putting the general safety of its consumers over profit, which is surprising it wasn’t seen before for a such a large multi-national tech company. Doing this to mainly combat the overwhelmingly common market of these cheap and nasty products, Apple launched the “USB Power Adaptor Takeback Program” last year. Apple will safely dispose of any charging cable you feel may present safety issues, while also allowing you to pick up an official unit for a fraction of the usual retail price. Good, right?

But even though the Takeback Program has been in effect for almost a year now, not all consumers are aware of it. If you don’t want to risk any safety issues popping up in the limits of your own house, you are very much encouraged to take advantage of Apple’s generous offer and grab an official, properly-made connector. More details on the Takeback program can be found on Apple’s official website.

More details on the counterfeit charger can be found on Ken Shirriff’s blog. Also be sure to check out Apple’s guide for tips on how to spot fake chargers. The guide is in Chinese, but does offer useful images on spotting fake ones.

Shujaa Imran Shujaa Imran

Shujaa Imran is MakeTechEasier's resident Mac tutorial writer. He's currently training to follow his other passion become a commercial pilot. You can check his content out on Youtube


    1. Some Apple stores are still offering the Takeback program, you can check your local Apple store if they are too :)

  1. Sadly, your info on the Adaptor Takeback program is somewhat outdated; the special pricing finished on the 18th October, 2013.

    1. Some Apple stores are still offering the Takeback program, you can check your local Apple store if they are too :)

    2. Isn’t this whole article like almost a year old, content wise? That’s when people were dissecting Apple chargers vs counterfeits to demonstrate the lack of proper insulation, etc.

      1. This is issue is very much discussed these days, and with reports of more counterfeit chargers/adaptor burning and setting fire to houses, we thought we would post this article for letting you know of the differences between real and counterfeit chargers.

  2. I notice you noted that, “Recently Apple seems to be putting the general safety of its consumers over profit . . . “. If Apple is so concerned about safety, why have they only “recently” started to upgrade the quality of their charging products? Shouldn’t they have been producing a higher quality product all along since they are charging a premium for their chargers?

    1. Some Apple stores are still offering the Takeback program, you can check your local Apple store if they are too :)

    2. Sorry, posted the wrong reply. I’ve been using Apple products for a long time now, and I have to say, their products are really top-notch. I haven’t had a problem with either of them for around 6 years now, their products are basically some of the best you can find on the market today.

  3. I find the article long on generalizations and short on detail.

    As an engineer with over 30 years of experience, the one thing that does stand out is that the Apple charger is more rugged than the off-brand and thus more apt to survive being dropped.

    From the pictures, the Apple charger does appear to have more components in the electronics. Whether or not the extra circuitry makes for a superior charger is not explained.

    As to the extra insulation, the examples shown look more like fixes to design problems than superior construction. Both the coil construction and the strip of Kapton tape imply that design changes had to be made to pass safety tests.

  4. Normally, it is observed that consumer don’t possess enough expertise about the handling of this product. Its power transfer technology is marvelous as carrying qualitative performance at present. There are numerous options related to its price, specifications, appearance, heaviness, and many more. iPad charger is normally light in its weight with great power conversion machinery. Customers must visit some dependable sources for required knowledge to decrease their qualms related to this device. Visit CHOETECH Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HZF6UD4

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