Buying a new wall charger for your iPad can often seem like a grudge purchase, it either means that the one that came in the box is broken or that you want one in another location and are too lazy to cart your original one back and forth. On top of that, anything branded with the Apple logo carries a notoriously high price tag with the current price for a 12W iPad charger, which doesn’t come with the equally necessary lightning cable, hovering around the R300 mark.
So why not just go out and buy a cheap knock-off charger from a flea market on Sunday afternoon instead?
Well computer programmer and current Google employee, Ken Sherriff took some time out to tear down both Apple’s original iPad wall charger as well as a knock-off that cost him roughly 85% less to buy off of eBay. His blog post goes through all of the major components explaining the differences in how Apple and the fake charger were both made and why fake chargers can be so dangerous to use.
The crux of the article is that several shortcuts are used to keep the cost of the fake charger down and in one case the apparent disregard for safety in one particular part of the controller board.
“If you use the charger in a humid bathroom and a drop of water condenses across the 0.6 mm gap, then zap!”
It’s well worth a read if only to see how much effort Apple puts into making something as simple as an iPad charger.
[Source and image – Ken Sherriff’s blog]