Why You Shouldn’t Buy Cheap Chargers

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(Last Updated On: December 2, 2016)

Beware of cheap chargers! It’s not just your phone you have to worry about blowing up on you (Sorry, Samsung). It’s safe to say that most of us have been caught in the wild without a charger and 2% battery and succumbed to the $8.99 iPhone charger at the gas station. You know the type; sold right next to the male-enhancement pills and questionable energy tonics, not the familiar clean white but instead a color that reminds you of bad candy. While these may be fine in a pinch, we recommend avoiding using these chargers regularly. Reports of fire, electrocutions, and (much worse) damage to phones have been widespread. These cheap chargers, sometimes blatant counterfeits designed to look similar to official accessories, are inexpensive for a reason. Let’s take a look at a MacBook charger, since its larger size makes things easier to see. The official Apple charger is on the left, the knockoff on the right.

macbook charger

Original vs. Cheap MacBook Charger

The biggest issue regarding the safety in these knockoff chargers has to do with insulation. These devices are designed to take a very powerful electrical current from your wall and convert it into something that can safely charge your laptop. As you can imagine, a lot of safeguards are required to prevent wires from crossing and to distribute the electrical load evenly. Those safeguards aren’t as numerous in the knockoff; you can see how much empty space there is compared to the official one. If you’re going to use one, make sure you’re not standing on a wet or metal floor or you might get a deadly surprise. Budget chargers for iPads and iPhones are similarly constructed: a housing the same size and shape as the official, but the electronics inside barely fill the space. Here’s another side-by-side with iPad chargers (counterfeit on the right)…

iPad Chargers

Original vs Cheap iPad Chargers

…and a $2.95 iPhone wall charger, looking like something from a vending machine.

Knockoff iPhone Charger

Knockoff iPhone Charger

Now, we’re not saying all off-brand charging accessories are bad (but a lot of them are, according to the BBC). You can save money, but don’t be tempted to save more than 50% or you might be in trouble. An iPhone charger (wall plug and cable) retails for around $25 and good alternatives, such as PureGear or AmazonBasics, can be found for close to $15. These, of course, will be of a different external design than the official Apple product, but feature similar build quality and safety. Beware of products that make an attempt to look like exact copies of official products but have a price tag one-tenth the size; these are designed to trick you into buying an inferior counterfeit while thinking it’s legit, much in the way that Ghosthunters is titled to confuse people looking to rent Ghostbusters at the local RedBox. In the interest of safety, be sure to look for logos of product-quality organizations, such as UL, CSA, and CE.


At iFixYouri retail locations, we sell a variety of accessories for your devices, from protective and decorative cases to chargers. Our stores carry PureGear chargers, all of which carry either the CSA or CE label and are touted by our expert technicians. If your device was damaged by a faulty charger, either a charging port malfunction or a battery that suddenly doesn’t hold a charge or dies suddenly, iFixYouri can diagnose the problem and repair it quickly and with top-quality parts. We might even throw in a quality charger, too!


Photo credits http://www.righto.com/