Apple to launch counterfeit iPhone, iPad and iPod charger hand-back scheme

Apple iPhone 5

Apple wants to encourage users to surrender unauthorised iPhone and iPad USB adapters by rewarding them with a cut-price charger.

The launch of the USB Power Adapter Takeback Programme follows reports last month of the electrocution of a 23-year-old former flight attendant in China.

According to reports, Ma Ailun died after taking a call on her iPhone 5, which was charging at the time, shortly after stepping out of the bath.

We will ensure these adapters are disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.

In response, Apple expressed its sadness at the young lady's passing in a statement, and promised to carry out a full investigation into the matter.

Chinese state media reports, in the wake of the incident, suggested the charger Ma had been using may have been a fake.

In light of this, the consumer electronics giant said it plans to encourage iPhone, iPad and iPod users to drop off any third-party or counterfeit USB power chargers to local Apple Retail Stores or Authorised Service Providers later this month.

"Starting August 16 2013, if you have concerns about any of your USB power adapters, you can drop them off...[And] we will ensure these adapters are disposed of in an environmentally friendly way," said the company in a statement on its website.

The company goes on to say that, because of the complexities associated with testing adapters, its representatives will be unable to guarantee the authenticity or safety of the chargers people hand in.

However, users that return an adapter to an Apple outlet will be able to buy a discounted one for $10, and the offer is valid until 18 October 2013.

"To qualify, you must turn in at least one USB power adapter and bring your iPhone, iPad or iPod to an Apple Retail Store or participating Apple Authorised Service Provider for serial number valuation," the statement reads.

"We are offering this special take-back programme for any USB power adapter made for use with iPhone, iPad and iPod for which you have concerns," it concluded.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.