After a death, Apple tells Chinese to only use official chargers

The company posts the guidance on its Chinese site after a woman was allegedly electrocuted while answering a call on her iPhone as it was charging.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger

Apple has a warning for Chinese customers: don't use the fake stuff.

Apple has posted the warning on its Chinese Web site, urging customers to only use its official chargers with any of its products. To help its customers with that, Apple showed them how to identify a real charger from the company, as opposed to a fake alternative.

The posting comes after a Chinese woman was allegedly electrocuted while answering her iPhone as it was charging. Apple expressed sadness over her death and promised to fully investigate the matter. Although the company has yet to issue a specific follow-up statement, Apple's warning that customers should use only legitimate chargers might be telling.

Last week, reports surfaced in China that suggested the woman, Ma Ailun, might have been using a third-party charger designed to look like the real thing. Although third-party chargers are not uncommon, they vary widely in terms of safety and quality.

Earlier this year, safety consulting and certification company UL issued a warning that counterfeit Apple USB chargers were making the rounds and that consumers should be on the lookout for them due to their lower quality and possibly dangerous defects.