Apple has issued a statement outlining safety-related flaws with some European iPhone USB adapters, and as such, will be running a replacement program for those in ownership of these potentially defective products.
Like most tech companies, Apple invests a lot of time and money into ensuring that its hardware and subsequent peripherals are safe to use. In the field of USB adapters, it also has to cope with the added problem of rampant bootlegging, with knock-off adapters often wreaking havoc by damaging devices and, in extreme cases, causing minor explosions.
The advice given to those buying, or considering buying cheap alternatives, is to pay the extra for an official, thoroughly tested Apple adapter. But in actual fact, even your Apple-manufactured adapter can prove problematic, as some iDevice users in Europe have come to discover in recent times.
Acknowledging that some European USB adapters "may pose a safety risk," Apple has taken the necessary step of organizing a replacement program, allowing those in ownership of said adapters to pick up a replacement free of charge.
By the sound of things, quite a large number of cables are affected, having been sold in dozens of European nations for three years between October 2009 to September 2012. If you’re in ownership of the iPhone 5 or newer, then you’re golden, since it only affects the 30-pin adapter sold with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, but if you did purchase one of those smartphones during the time period stipulated in Europe, then you might want to check its model number.
If you find that your adapter is of the model "A1300," then you’re eligible for a free replacement. All you need to do is head over to an Apple Retail Store and you’ll swiftly be offered a newer version with improved, safe design, and if you don’t want to take the brick-and-mortar route, you can also arrange a replacement over the phone or via the official Apple website.
The complete list of countries that can take advantage of the program are as follows:
Some authorized, third-party resellers will also give you a replacement of the dodgy power adapter, and although it seems like a bit of effort just for a adapter, it does mean that you get a shiny new – and of course, safe – adapter.
More details on the program can be found here.