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UL warns of counterfeit Apple USB power adapters

The electronics safety organization has put out a warning about counterfeit Apple USB chargers that may be unsafe.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
The real deal.
The real one. Apple

Safety science company UL today issued a warning to consumers and retailers about counterfeit Apple USB power adapters.

These adapters are designed to look just like the ones Apple includes with the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad Mini, and even bear the same model designation as Apple's legitimate USB adapter (Model A1265).

The easiest way to spot a fake is in the writing on the back of the device. Instead of saying "Designed by Apple in California," you will see either "Designed Abble in California" or "Designed by China in California."

"These USB power adaptors have not been evaluated by UL to the appropriate Standards for Safety and it is unknown if these power adaptors comply with any safety requirements," UL said in its announcement this morning.

Counterfeit USB adapters are commonplace, and Apple and other major electronics makers are no strangers to having the look, feel, and functionality of their accessories replicated by third-party companies. There is some danger when it comes to power adapters and batteries, however. For more on that, grab a large cup of coffee and read this exhaustive breakdown of more than a dozen real and counterfeit USB chargers by Ken Shirriff. It might freak you out.

Here are some shots of the counterfeits:


And the real one: