Chinese man allegedly electrocuted by iPhone 4 and third-party adapter

245

Comments

  • Reply 21 of 86
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    You haven't been around long, have you?



    It's hard to imagine how you could block a charger from supplying current, but even if Apple were to do that (completely block third party devices), the media would be all over Apple for having a closed ecosystem and claim that Android is so superior because you can use any charger you wish. Everyone will forget all about the consequences (including bad PR for Apple and injured people) of third party crap floating around and will claim that Apple is evil and greedy.


    The whole purpose of brands is so you can know who you can trust. When these (presumably) no-name devices start killing people (how horrible) people will spend the extra $5 to get a charger (or whatever else) with a trusted name (i.e. Apple).

  • Reply 22 of 86
    rolsrols Posts: 56member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ecs View Post


    While the original Apple charger has good security measures, and follows all regulations, I dislike the concept of these chargers. With the traditional linear adaptors, I never had any notice of a PSU outputting high voltage, and I've been using electronics since the 80s. This idea of having a tiny item is cool, but the idea of having 340V DC inside it isn't so cool, no matter how many security measures are there. I'd prefer a traditional linear PSU rather than this coolness.



    There have been a couple of professional teardowns of real Apple chargers, the experts who did them were very impressed by the quality and the dedication to isolation and standards in the design of the devices. I can't personally recall the last time I heard of a genuine Apple charger malfunctioning in a way as to expose the user to mains power, they may have exhibited other failure modes, but not of the lethal type. 


     


    It may be a problem of course that if people try to copy these very small, but insanely well-designed power supplies, they find it impossible or uneconomic to do it properly, but want to copy the form factor, then you can end up with something deadly. 


     


    I'm happy Apple is looking into this seriously, even if it wasn't one of their power adapters. I reserve any judgement on what actually happened, the story has moved from iPhone5 to iPhone4, from Apple supply not not and whether or not the poor lady was or was not in the bathroom is pure speculation at this point. The truth always takes a while to come out.  

  • Reply 23 of 86
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    ascii wrote: »
    The whole purpose of brands is so you can know who you can trust. When these (presumably) no-name devices start killing people (how horrible) people will spend the extra $5 to get a charger (or whatever else) with a trusted name (i.e. Apple).

    Maybe, maybe not. People buy cheap tires for their cars. People buy cheap brake pads. People buy untested, uncertified drugs from third world countries. There are lot of people who can't (or won't) buy a premium product.

    None of which addresses my comment. Apple loses no matter what happens. If a third party iPhone charger fails, Apple gets the blame - at least tangentially. If Apple blocks all third party devices, the media would be all over them for being closed and greedy.
  • Reply 24 of 86
    dbtincdbtinc Posts: 134member
    Made in China. Nothing else to say here. Move along.
  • Reply 25 of 86
    bigmac2bigmac2 Posts: 637member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ecs View Post


    While the original Apple charger has good security measures, and follows all regulations, I dislike the concept of these chargers. With the traditional linear adaptors, I never had any notice of a PSU outputting high voltage, and I've been using electronics since the 80s. This idea of having a tiny item is cool, but the idea of having 340V DC inside it isn't so cool, no matter how many security measures are there. I'd prefer a traditional linear PSU rather than this coolness.



     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rols View Post


    There have been a couple of professional teardowns of real Apple chargers, the experts who did them were very impressed by the quality and the dedication to isolation and standards in the design of the devices. I can't personally recall the last time I heard of a genuine Apple charger malfunctioning in a way as to expose the user to mains power, they may have exhibited other failure modes, but not of the lethal type. 


     


    It may be a problem of course that if people try to copy these very small, but insanely well-designed power supplies, they find it impossible or uneconomic to do it properly, but want to copy the form factor, then you can end up with something deadly. 


     


    I'm happy Apple is looking into this seriously, even if it wasn't one of their power adapters. I reserve any judgement on what actually happened, the story has moved from iPhone5 to iPhone4, from Apple supply not not and whether or not the poor lady was or was not in the bathroom is pure speculation at this point. The truth always takes a while to come out.  



     


    Here is a very good teardown of the Apple charger: 


    http://www.righto.com/2012/05/apple-iphone-charger-teardown-quality.html


     


    You see how complex this thing is and how little margin of error there is to isolate the high voltage circuit from the low voltage side. 

  • Reply 26 of 86
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    krawall wrote: »
    It's interesting that this dominantly seem to happen in China.

    China is the land of the cheap knock off accessories so its not that odd
  • Reply 27 of 86
    Don't want to diminish the significance of this man's coma, but you do understand that "electrocute" means "killed by electric shock," right?
  • Reply 28 of 86
    jollypauljollypaul Posts: 328member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Krawall View Post



    It's interesting that this dominantly seem to happen in China.


     


    Easier access to crap chargers that have not passed the strict safety testing required in other countries? There is a reason for certified safety labs like UL. Plugging random stuff into the mains can be dangerous, particularly when bathing.

  • Reply 29 of 86
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,578member
    b9bot wrote: »
    Apple cannot stop the Cheap crap that goes to market that people buy that is not an authorized product of Apple.

    There is a little line in the sand, though. As a simple example, I have hard-wired USB chargers (the combination outlet/dual USB ports that take the place of a standard duplex receptacle) in my home. These units need to be installed in accordance with the electrical codes (GFCI in wet locations, AFCI in bedrooms, grounding where required, etc.), and they should (by their UL label) be safe to use as class-2 power-limited power supplies. If there was a 120V potential under any circumstances between one of the power-limited conductors and the USB shield, or the ground pin of the receptacle, that is a fault of the equipment.

    Likewise, a fault in the cable provides some wiggle room. Since it is a power-limited circuit it should not be capable of starting a fire or causing electrocution.

    The problem comes when the consumer equipment (such as the iPhone) expects something other than a standard-compliant USB-charging port. Some assumptions may not be reasonable, especially when you have a metal piece of utilization equipment.
  • Reply 30 of 86
    bigmac2bigmac2 Posts: 637member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post



    The problem comes when the consumer equipment (such as the iPhone) expects something other than a standard-compliant USB-charging port. Some assumptions may not be reasonable, especially when you have a metal piece of utilization equipment.


     


    I think no low voltage DC based equipment ever expects to being feed with AC line level voltage without any prejudice. 

  • Reply 31 of 86
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member


    Even in a land without safety codes I would try to make the safest product possible, I would be devastated if something I made killed someone! 


    The people making these chargers must be incredibly irresponsible and should be shut down asap.

  • Reply 32 of 86
    scartartscartart Posts: 174member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post



    None of which addresses my comment. Apple loses no matter what happens. If a third party iPhone charger fails, Apple gets the blame - at least tangentially. If Apple blocks all third party devices, the media would be all over them for being closed and greedy.


    I agree but Apple don't help themselves here. Even with the quality design and components that Apple use, an iPhone charger is still only costing them a few pence to manufacture. Instead of adding 1000%+ markup just make a decent 100%, give the retailer 100% and sell it for £5, not the current £15 that they want to charge. That would massively reduce the number of people willing to take a chance on a third party product.

  • Reply 33 of 86
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,653member
    ascii wrote: »
    Even in a land without safety codes I would try to make the safest product possible, I would be devastated if something I made killed someone! 
    The people making these chargers must be incredibly irresponsible and should be shut down asap.

    Maybe you would, but there are many who obviously do not care at all, as long as they can make a buck. And those kinds of people are not just found in China, but everywhere.
  • Reply 34 of 86
    bigmac2bigmac2 Posts: 637member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ScartArt View Post


    I agree but Apple don't help themselves here. Even with the quality design and components that Apple use, an iPhone charger is still only costing them a few pence to manufacture. Instead of adding 1000%+ markup just make a decent 100%, give the retailer 100% and sell it for £5, not the current £15 that they want to charge. That would massively reduce the number of people willing to take a chance on a third party product.



     


    This is a baseless claim, sure Apple made profit of their accessories, but you got no clue of the actual manufacturing cost of these things. The IC controller alone in those charge cost around $2.50. 

  • Reply 35 of 86

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    For the second time this week, a report from China links Apple's iPhone to an accidental electrocution, with the latest incident involving a 30-year-old man who has been comatose for over ten days.



    The Beijing Evening News reported Thursday that Wu Jian Tong was "suddenly shocked" while plugging in an iPhone 4 connected to a supposedly "counterfeit" or third-party charger.


     


    You know maybe Apple should warn people about this stuff.... Oh, right.... I guess I should fall in line.


     


    HOW DARE Apple even think of such thing. Infact, i'm insulted and outraged that I get any message at all. Androids are so much better that this never happens with them. Steve Jobs wouldn't let this happen! Or would he... It doesn't matter, because this would happen if they just used Mini USB!

  • Reply 36 of 86
    jollypauljollypaul Posts: 328member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ScartArt View Post


    I agree but Apple don't help themselves here. Even with the quality design and components that Apple use, an iPhone charger is still only costing them a few pence to manufacture. Instead of adding 1000%+ markup just make a decent 100%, give the retailer 100% and sell it for £5, not the current £15 that they want to charge. That would massively reduce the number of people willing to take a chance on a third party product.



     


    Really? $19 for a charger (that costs a LOT more than a few pence to manufacture) causes people to endanger themselves to the point of death?


     


    The lengths some people go to blame Apple for things boggles my mind.

  • Reply 37 of 86
    scartartscartart Posts: 174member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BigMac2 View Post


     


    This is a baseless claim, sure Apple made profit of their accessories, but you got no clue of the actual manufacturing cost of these things. The IC controller alone in those charge cost around $2.50. 



    Talk about baseless. Where is your proof that the controller chip costs Apple $2.50?


     


    The fact that you can purchase genuine Samsung usb chargers for under £5, with Samsung, distributor, retailer and government all taking their cut shows that COGS costs are not high. Tear down and testing done actually show the Samsung charger is as good, if not better, than the Apple one.

  • Reply 38 of 86
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,335member
    Hey, here's an idea... how about instead of saving a buck, you buy an actual, quality iPhone cable from Apple and avoid the costly hospital stay. Eh?
  • Reply 39 of 86


    If the custom iPhone charger I made out of paperclips zaps me, you can be damn sure my estate will be suing Apple for not having some kind of magic safeguard in place.

  • Reply 40 of 86
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post

    The whole purpose of brands is so you can know who you can trust. When these (presumably) no-name devices start killing people (how horrible) people will spend the extra $5 to get a charger (or whatever else) with a trusted name (i.e. Apple).

     

    If it really were only $5 it wouldn't be that big a deal, but we all know that's not the case.



    In any event, you don't need to buy an Apple branded charger and Apple doesn't need to (shouldn't/can't) block all non-Apple chargers (think of all the different USB ports on computers, aircraft, cars, etc, etc, that would get blocked if they did). All you need to do is not buy the too-good-to-be-true priced crap online or off some corner street vendor. Of course, I probably wouldn't trust anything offered even in retail shops in certain countries, including China, where safety is an afterthought.
Sign In or Register to comment.