After a series of electrocution incidents involving third-party chargers in China, Apple Inc. is offering to sell its brand-name chargers at reduced prices in order to lessen the risk of injury and death.
The announcement comes after two separate tragedies in which consumers were electrocuted and, with one of them being killed, after their third-party iPhone charges malfunctioned; the first occurred when a young woman in Urumqi answered her phone and was electrocuted and subsequently died, while the second incident caused a man to slip into a coma. Apple investigated the matter and found that the third-party chargers consumers were using could pose a significant risk of injury; they then announced that their chargers would be available at a discount rate for anyone who had purchased a third-party adapter.
Third-party products, be they electronics or other consumer devices, can carry added risks, particularly if they do not interact well with the brand-name products to which they are tied. It may have been that the deadly third-party chargers in these cases were unable to mesh with the iPhones to which they were plugged in; it is also possible that they were simply poorly-made and carried an extra-heightened risk of danger.
Whatever the case, it is vitally important that consumers purchase well-made and safe products, which may necessitate reading consumer reports or warning labels that inform a buyer of a product’s defects or dangers; it is doubly important that users take caution where electronic devices are concerned, especially if they plug directly into the wall and are thus poised to deliver a potentially-lethal electrocution to the user.