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Apple's shock treatment: An authentic charger-spotting guide

New web page offers advice after electrocutions in China

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Apple has responded to a recent spate of incidents in which iPhone users were electrocuted whilst apparently charging their handsets with a new guide on its Chinese site detailing how to identify an official power adapter. Clicking on a prominent link on the homepage will take visitors to a dedicated web page explaining how all Apple products “are subject to stringent safety and reliability testing, and designed to meet government safety standards around the world”.

The blurb then outlines the following:

This overview will help you identify genuine Apple USB power adapter. When you need to charge the iPhone or iPad, we recommend that you use the [included] standard USB power adapter and USB cable. These adapters and cables are also available separately from Apple and Apple Authorized Resellers.

Several images of official power adapters for various versions of the iPhone and iPad then follow, just to make sure Chinese fanbois know exactly what to look out for.

It hasn’t been confirmed whether the two recent cases of iPhone-related electrocutions in China occurred as a result of dodgy third party chargers, but the timing of the announcement would seem to indicate Cupertino has a pretty good idea what was to blame.

That said, in a land where counterfeit is king, it may be more of a gesture by the fruity tech titan than anything else.

23-year-old former flight attendant Ma Ailun died last week after apparently being electrocuted as she tried to answer a call on her iPhone while it was charging.

Apple released a carefully worded statement at the time saying it was “deeply sorry for the unfortunate accident” and that it was investigating.

A few days later it emerged that a 30-year-old Beijing man had been electrocuted into a coma in similar circumstances.

Reports also broke this week that a Sydney woman has been hospitalised after getting an electric shock from her iPhone, although it’s not confirmed whether the handset was charging at the time and she's also been revealed as suffering from other health issues that may have contributed to the incident. ®

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