Safe USB wall charger?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by BahaaZ, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. BahaaZ macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2012
    I purchased a $3 dollar wall charger from eBay, and was shipped to me from Hong Kong. The charger arrived and it looked great for its low price. I plugged in my iPhone 4S and it charged fine. But my friends told me that I should not use that wall charger because it could damage my iPhone and fry it. I really do not want that to happen. Is it true that this could happen? Is this wall charger not safe to use?
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I wouldn't trust or recommend any charger that didn't come from Apple. I can't speak for iPhones, but I've seen dozens of threads where people had problems from using "knockoff" chargers for their Macs. It's not worth risking your Mac or iPhone for the sake of saving a few bucks on a charger.
  3. BahaaZ thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2012
    it was not a "knockoff"; it is a different generic brand. It appears to be functional and I have not had any problems with it. I just wanted to know if it is possible to fry an iPhone by using such a charger.
  4. mpick92 macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2010
    I have personally ordered look-alike or generic brand ebay chargers and had them make buzzing noises and fry an ipod mini. I've tested them with multi-meters and the ones I ordered did not output correct voltage.
    If you want an inexpensive charger (even though it may not be pretty like apple) that is functional, try or amazon
  5. JoeG4 macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2002
    Bay Area, Ca.
  6. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    Bottom line? What's cheaper, buying Apple, or replacing your device?
  7. BahaaZ thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2012
    That's a pretty good point. I guess I should just stop using this charger.
  8. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    I use no-name chargers, but I buy them from places I trust (i.e. where there are hundreds of reviews. I would not buy any cheap crap off of ebay from China. I know I know, probably all of our cell phone chargers come from China, but unless they are being reviewed/backed by a company I trust in the States I'm not buying.
  9. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    The charger below is good for iPad, Iphone 2,iPod touch, iPod Nano,and iPhone.

    At Apple Store - iPad 10w USB Power Adapter. Has connector cable, power brick, and extender cable. About $35, but I think you get what you pay for.

    (Ignore the AV Digital Adaptor on the left)

    Attached Files:

  10. JoeG4 macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2002
    Bay Area, Ca.
    Like I said, any major phone manufacturer's USB chargers should be fine provided you're getting the real product (and sometimes those are as expensive as the apple ones - look for ones on clearance). There was a point where you could get HP Touchpad power bricks for about $5 shipped and while the microUSB cord that comes with them sucks, the adaptor is pretty solid.
  11. BahaaZ thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2012
    But I read feedback of people who bought the Wall Charger from the China seller. They all seemed pretty legit, and I heard alot of good things about the charger. I only saw about 2 negative comments and they were only complaining about either not receiving the charger in mail, or how long it took for them to receive it.
  12. jca24 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 28, 2010
    If you bought a cheap $3 charger from china then it is a cheap knock-off. Never buy that crap, why do you think it is $3 ??????????? Just because it works now does not mean it will work tomorrow. And yes, that cheap crap can mess up your stuff.

  13. Flynnstone macrumors 65816


    Feb 25, 2003
    Cold beer land
    Lets do the math. Say charging an iPhone & Applecare +.

    Apple charger $35 (guess from above) from Apple.
    If it fails, take phone & charger back to Apple & they will replace. $0

    Lowcost charger $4 - Savings of $31.
    If it fails & takes out iPhone. & honesty assumed ;^). Apple care will charge $50 to replace phone. Plus you need a charger, so Apple @ $35

    Total cost = $89 ($4+$50+$35) for off brand
    Total cost = $35 for Apple.

    Odds of failure ... higher with off brand.

    No brainer for me.
  14. mikek5399 macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2012
    Well, I have been using a .99 cent charger from china that I bought off eBay for my iPod touch 4th Gen and iPhone 4 for about a year now... No problems at all.
  15. teflubber macrumors newbie

    May 13, 2013
    I've opened up to cheap adapters

    I bought 2 cheap USB adapters:

    1st: 500mA USB plug shaped made in china. It didn't work at al because of a loose contact. In the inside was a very cheaply made switch mode power supply without control chip, this means overcharging or killing a battery is possible.

    2'nd: 2100mA USB "ipad usb charger". When I initially plugged it in it actually "worked". The output voltage however had a large middle frequency AC component, no clean DC at all. This can be harmful to your connected devices. I also dismantled this device, it had somwhat af a controller unknown to me but overall not a good design.

    TIP: go for known brands. spend the extra $7 or so.
  16. tengtengvn macrumors member


    Apr 14, 2013
  17. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    I've bought non-Apple chargers, and use them along with our Apple chargers that come with the devices. They all work fine-never had an issue. These are USB charging systems, and pretty mature technology. Use what your comfortable with. In our house everyone loves to use the Apple iPad charger (faster), but other than that we just grab the nearest cord that works. Never had an issue with any of them, but maybe we're just lucky.
    I regularly buy from monoprice, which I've found has good prices and good quality, for a lot less. I've purchased from cellphoneshop, too. Cheaper prices/quality.
  18. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007

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