Counterfeit Stories May 13, 2014

Teardown reveals the risks of counterfeit iPad chargers

A teardown by an engineer investigating the differences between genuine and counterfeit iPad chargers found that despite looking almost identical externally, there were big differences internally, impacting on both power delivery and safety.

One safety difference is obvious: the Apple charger has much more insulation. The upper (high-voltage) half is wrapped in yellow insulating tape. Some components are encased in shrink tubing, there are plastic insulators between some components, and some wires have extra insulation. The counterfeit charger only has minimal insulation.

While the genuine charger delivered slightly above the 10W claimed, the counterfeit delivered only 5.9W, meaning it would take almost twice as long to charge. The fake charger power delivery was also found by engineer Ken Shirriff to be “noisy and low quality.”

But it’s the safety side that provides the greatest argument for sticking to the real deal. For example, safety regulations require a gap of at least 4mm between high- and low-voltage sides of any transformer. The genuine Apple charger comfortably exceeds this with a 5.6mm gap, while the fake charger gap was just 0.6mm.

The Apple charger also uses triple-insulated wire, while the fake one is uninsulated but for a thin varnish coating.

The full teardown is worth a read if you want chapter and verse, but the tl;dr version is that cheap chargers are cheap for a reason.

Counterfeit Stories October 23, 2013

Still waiting for that gold iPhone 5s? There’s always the Goophone i5S …

Goophone, a Chinese company specialising in counterfeit phones, has launched the Goophone i5S. On the outside, it’s a very, very close copy of the real thing (complete with fake Touch ID sensor that does nothing). On the inside, though, it’s just a cheapo Android.

Counterfeit Stories August 29, 2013

A news report out of Baltimore demonstrates the level of counterfeit Apple products that are being sold right under our noses in malls, some of which undoubtedly share space with an Apple Store.

Officers said they raided the Cyberion store and the ST Tech Pros kiosk last Friday and recovered hundreds of fake Apple products that were being sold as authentic factory replacements.”These organizations that make these products are using substandard materials. They are doing everything they can to make them look like the real thing,” said Greg Shipley with the Maryland State Police.

While this particular bust may have been an isolated incident, if you’ve been to a US mall in the past few years, you’ve likely seen kiosks with fake Apple products. They are everywhere.

The items recovered from the Baltimore Mall included: expand full story

Counterfeit Stories August 12, 2013

Last week, we reported that Apple, will soon kickoff a trade-in-program for third-party or counterfeit USB power adapters in its retail stores and select authorized resellers. The program will allow anyone with an unofficial USB power adapter for iOS Devices to exchange that adapter for an Apple-built unit at a discounted price of $10 dollars. The program comes in response to a couple of controversial situations in which people in China reportedly passed away or became injured due to faulty, counterfeit charging adapters…

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The best 4K & 5K displays for Mac

Counterfeit Stories August 29, 2011

CNN is reporting that recent Wikileaks cables have revealed that Apple assembled an anti-counterfeit team in 2008 to combat counterfeited iPhones and iPod touches. Apple’s early plans to attack Chinese counterfeits were to go after retailers and street vendors, work with police to raid manufacturing facilities, and to go after online retailers.

The technology giant eventually organized a team in March 2008 to curtail the explosion of knockoff iPods and iPhones, according to an electronic memo from the Beijing embassy dated September 2008.

Counterfeiting Apple products has been a huge issue in recent years. Most recently, fake Apple stores have opened up selling almost identical products to Chinese consumers. We attribute the high amount of counterfeit sales to the scarce availability of stores in this region. As of now Apple only has 4 stores, but a new Hong Kong store is on its way — which we’ve heard is coming along nicely.

Apple’s efforts to combat counterfeits has slowed down recently, as more and more appear due to the upcoming iPhone 5. Apple reportedly isn’t getting any help from the Chinese government either, as CNN notes after the break:

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