You might think it doesn't matter what kind of charger you use with your phone, but a counterfeit charger can be much lower quality — not to mention unsafe. Here's how to tell the difference.
Electronics blogger Ken Shirriff recently did a very interesting teardown comparing a genuine and counterfeit iPad charger, and he discusses the technical differences and why you should stay away from the fakes. His tip on how to spot the fakes is what caught our eye:
From the outside, the real charger (left) and counterfeit charger (right) are almost identical. If you look very closely, you can spot are a few differences in the text: The counterfeit removed "Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China" and the manufacturer "Foxlink", probably for legal reasons. (But strangely, the counterfeit still says "TM and © 2010 Apple Inc.") The counterfeit charger displays a bunch of certifications (such as UL) that it doesn't actually have. As you will see below, there is no way it could pass safety testing.
Apparently, this is common among fake Apple chargers, and good to check before you plug in your devices.
Of course, that doesn't mean you have to necessarily buy Apple's overpriced chargers for their gadgets. Third-party chargers from reputable brands are OK to buy — it's the cheap fakes on places like Amazon that you'll want to avoid. Check out our guide to chargers for more information. If you're interested, check out Ken's teardown at the link below.
iPad Charger Teardown: Inside Apple's Charger and a Risky Phony [Ken Shirriff's Blog via Make Tech Easier]