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99% of Fake Apple Chargers Fail Basic Safety Tests

Did you know? Cheap phone chargers are risky enough to burn down your phone. I don’t think it’s clever to ask whether inexpensive chargers are efficient or not intelligent. Of course not, you cannot risk your expensive devices like this.

In October, Apple revealed that it sued a third party vendor who sold poor power adapters. It was all done after a Trading Standard Test performed by a company named UL. These chargers were bought online and to test them and to check, they applied high voltage to check the insulation. Out of 400 chargers shockingly only 3 were found to provide enough protection against that electric shock.

99% of fake Apple phone chargers are lethal because fails to meets the insulation required to prevent any electric shock. However, it is also our fault as we get attracted to the cheaper prices and forgets about the quality.

burnt-socket2-2You may buy these cheap fake phone chargers thinking they are cost-friendly but you have no ideas that these fatal chargers are putting lives at risk. A number of incidents have occurred with a passage of time due to the fake Apple phone chargers.

A father reported that he got a brutal electric shock when his daughter’s iPad charger exploded. He exclaimed that his 8 year old daughter could have died due to the shock if she had touched it. However, when he ran to unplug it, his fingers were left blackened.

Are we really use to of the incidents or we act as if we don’t know? Everyone is aware of the fact that fake and poor chargers can cause harm to the phones. They are not only dangerous for the batteries but can also be fatal, just as we read above.
Consumers who want chargers almost everywhere prefer going for cheaper options available. But they are actually unaware of the fact that 99% of the apple phone chargers are not only fake but also dangerous.

We have to accept that fake USB chargers are hazardous for the electronic products. They ruin the phone battery and may also take more time to charge. A good charger will charge your phone quickly and if it’s taking more time then beware, you are using a poor charger.

We have to take in the notice that we cannot rely on every service provider thinking that they might provide us authentic and good quality phone chargers. Cheap prices surely attract us but it is the loyalty to your expensive phones and tablets that matter the most.

Multicharger 1610 ChargebusOnefruit believes in choosing quality over quantity. All our products are safety proof thus, you can have efficient, safe and fast charging. You don’t have to worry about the damage that the cheap chargers may cause. We assure that our products meet the quality assurance as they come with surge protection. Along with many features, it has inbuilt current protection. We further assure complete protection with no harm to your devices. We consider that quality matters the most and thus, our products are 100% secure.

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Will USB-C Replace Lightning?

USB-C-8USB-C is the hot new standard being tossed around technology circles, and it’s certainly nothing to shake a stick at. USB-C was created by the USB Implementers Forum, which includes 700 companies (including Apple, Dell, HP and more.) What makes this significant, is that each of these companies have released computers that run with USB-C connections already.

So, what does this mean? Will USB-C mean the demise of other connections, including Apple’s proprietary Lightning Cable? The writing does seem to be on the wall, but still not for some time yet.

Apple is largely the only user of the Lightning Cable. They developed it and do license the use of it, but not many companies have offered much more innovation with the port.

Size Matters

USB-C_Reversible_291x291_v01-r01Smart-phone and tablet makers are constantly working to thin and lighten their devices. That’s why Apple developed the Lightning Cable, so that they could ditch the larger 30-pin adapter and go with something with a smaller form factor.

Incidentally, the USB-C is doing the same thing for notebooks, and still has the small form factor. The USB-C connector is just about the size of a micro-USB, and it has the ability to both power devices and transfer data quickly.

Theoretical numbers put the USB-C at twice the speed of USB 3.0 and on par with Apple’s Thunderbolt at 10 Gbs per second.

Apple is even using the USB-C as the lone connector on the 2015 Macbook, which has a headphone jack besides. The 29-watt battery of the Macbook is also capable of being charged by USB-C.

With Apple reportedly ditching the headphone jack in the newest iPhone, and utilizing the Lightning adapter for headphones, could that mean that a more standard port (like USB-C) is coming? Particularly when Apple has been sued for not having a standard port, but instead using Lightning in the past?

A Standard With Lots of Flexibility

The USB-C connector also supports DisplayPort, HDMI, USB and VGA, opening a host of possibilities for the iPhone and iPad.

Could it replace Lightning? Probably not yet. Apple isn’t know for jumping on the bandwagon, but they have stated that the Macbook is a clear sign of where the company is going in the Future.

So, it may not be far off.

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Griffin’s New Apple Watch Battery Charger

The Apple Watch was released in early 2015 to large hype, and has done well in the market. However, one constant complaint has been the battery life. It goes about 18 hours. For most people this isn’t a problem, as they’ve taken to training themselves to charging the watch overnight or when they get home in the evening.

However, due out in Q2 of 2016, smartphone accessory manufacturer Griffin is releasing a Apple Watch battery charger. The device is attaches to your keychain, and they say it’s designed to charge the Watch 4 times before being depleted.

The device itself still requires the user to remove the Watch before charging, but is good in a pinch, as it won’t need to be charged in the wall-outlet. Additionally, the device is easily packed into carry-on luggage or a pocket for quick charging.

Griffin is calling it the Travel Power Bank, and it will only be available for the Apple Watch. Though it comes with a micro-USB, it seems that this is only for charging the Power Bank rather than other devices.

Griffin says the device will be retailing around $69.99 USD.

griffin-apple-watch-travel-power-bank-2Still, it’s a great little device if you’re out and about, and unable to plug in your Watch to an outlet. You can still get all those nifty messages, alerts, and encouragements to exercise from the Watch.

Which, incidentally, Apple COO Jeff Williams says has been getting rave reviews.

“Quite honestly we’ve been surprised and very inspired,” Williams said on January 4 on radio program Conversation on Health Care. “So many people have written to us saying it’s helped them lose weight, it’s helped them be more active, they were pre-diabetic and have changed course.”

“And even, we’ve gotten a ton of emails where people are saying the watch actually saved their life,” he said. “In a way we didn’t anticipate we’ve gotten so many emails where people or their cardiologist have written us and said this person detected something on their watch and came in and they had a life-threatening situation and, if we had not intervened, they probably would have died.”

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Mobile Charging Best Practices – Part 2

Here at Onefruit, charging your smart devices is a passion of ours. Our multi-charing solutions seek to make everything run long and keep you working. However, battery life is always going to be an issue.

Here are some quick tips to maximise your time in between charges with your OneFruit solution.

View part 1 of our charging best practices series here.

1. Adjust Device Settings for Optimal Battery Life

If you want to get the best battery life, turning off unnecessary settings is a good idea, as well as adjusting some other ones that you may not be using all the time.

For example, if you don’t use a bluetooth headset or any wearable tech that connects via Bluetooth, be sure that Bluetooth is turned off. Will you be away from Wi-Fi for a long time? Maybe driving down the freeway to work? Consider turning off Wi-Fi.

Otherwise, your smart-device will be searching for Bluetooth receivers and Wi-Fi hotspots through your entire day, sucking out battery life.

Also, be careful of apps that use Location Services – as these apps are always using data and Wi-Fi to check where you are.

2. Close Unused Apps

Apps that are running the background are sometimes secretly working, and stealing battery life. They’re accessing the internet (GPS for example), or just on a “pause” that can deplete your battery.

Use your device’s settings to close all unused apps regularly. This doesn’t mean just closing an app, but being sure it’s not listed in your task manager or multi-tasking bar.

3. Upgrade to iOS 9 for Apple Devices

Apple’s latest upgrade has a ton of new battery-saving features.

“Low Power Mode” for example decreases your display brightness, tells Apple Mail to stop downloading content, and disables other features. You can still use every app, but only if you go to it. When you’re fully charged, Low Power Mode switches itself off.

Additionally, check out  Settings > General > Battery to see what’s using up your battery. Or go to Settings >General> Battery App Refresh to turn off a feature that allows apps to refresh themselves while in the background.

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Mobile Charging Best Practices

Here at Onefruit, we love providing great charging solutions for your businesses and schools. Our multi-charging stations are meant to make the whole process easy. But what about that time in-between charges? How do you keep your batteries working to their best on and off the charger?

It’s important to note that batteries have a life-span. The Lithium-Ion batteries Apple and most Android manufacturers use are built to last a long time, and withstand multiple charges. Too, our battery woes are usually based on misunderstandings of how this technology works.

Quick Charge vs Real Charge

The Lithium-Ion battery in modern smart devices has the ability to do a quick charge, and get you to 80% quickly. Afterward, the device “trickle charges” at a slower rate up to 100%. Perceptually, this can cause an issue when we think we’re getting a “full charge” but our device just hit 80% and was still working on receiving a real charge.

How fast or how long this charge takes also depends on your settings and what you’re doing with the device while you’re using it.

It’s best to turn off the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and all other apps while charging to get the fastest and most efficient 100% charge.

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Charging Cycles

Just like any battery, the ability to recharge diminishes over time. Users previously had to be worried about “battery memory”, or the battery getting stuck at a certain charging level if they didn’t regularly deplete the battery fully before a re-charge.

However, Lithium-Ion batteries work on a charge cycle rather than require full charges from 0%-100%. This means, you simply need to charge your device regularly for it be healthy.

Most Android devices and all Apple devices have a high number of charging cycles before the battery will actually start showing wear. In Apple’s case, it’s in excess of 500 cycles before the battery will act at 80% capacity (but still show 100% when you charge it), and it will go down from there. Meaning, over time an 100% charge won’t get you what it used to.

Here’s how the cycles work.

If your battery went from 100% and you used it until it went to 50%, then charge it, you’ve only used half of one cycle. When you next use the device and say you only use 25% of the battery before charging it, you’ve now used up 75% of the cycle.

This process continues until you’ve reached that 100% of a full cycle, then starts all over again, all by itself.

So, how do you protect your device? Charge it regularly and turn it off when you don’t it.

Ultimately, enjoy your device but keep in mind that Lithium-Ion batteries allow you work longer, charge faster, and have longer lasting devices. Then, when you need to charge it, check OneFruit’s charging solutions to get on to the next cycle!

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Are Cheap iPhone & iPad Chargers Safe?

Who doesn’t love a good knockoff that looks the part? Sometimes we’re ok with that extra stitching or the way they spelled the label wrong – at least it was cheap! Or maybe not. Regardless, when it comes to your mobile devices, be careful when skimping on cheap USB chargers. At the least, they can fail or not work as you expected, at the worst they can destroy your device.

Apple iOS devices charge via a proprietary Lightning Connector in the current models and older models used an equally proprietary 30-pin connector. While many companies sell USB chargers, not all chargers are created equal. In fact, they are often not sanctioned by Apple.

Fake Blown iPhone Charger 

“Why’s that a big deal,” you ask. Apple’s charger is £15, and I found one online for £5.” Or maybe you found a cheaper multiple device charging station for your iPads. Why’s it matter?

The simple answer is that Apple takes their products very seriously. They are extremely careful about their vendors, and the products they make compatible with their products. Since 2013, they’ve even offered a replacement program for anyone using an unsanctioned 3rd party adapter just to stop their customers from potentially damaging their devices.

“Recent reports have suggested that some counterfeit and third party adapters may not be designed properly and could result in safety issues. While not all third party adapters have an issue, we are announcing a USB Power Adapter Takeback Program to enable customers to acquire properly designed adapters,” says the press release behind the program.

As part of the program, Apple will toss out the USB charger for you environmentally. They are utterly happy to throw it away for you. That says something of the danger.

But what is the danger of using a cheap adapter? In a word, overheating. In most cheap USB charges, the voltage is either too high or too low. Taking a knockoff adapter apart also exposes that most lack the required insulation inside the charger. Meaning that the device itself can either get very hot (becoming a safety hazard) or be putting out the wrong voltage to your device causing irreparable damage to the connector and/or battery.

Additionally, most knockoffs lack proper insulation, correct wiring and regulators causing safety hazards even aside from the potential damage to the device.

Isn’t that worth the extra money?

But, don’t take our word for it. Search the web for stories of cheap third-party adapters that have caused iPhones to burn up, to catch on fire, or just stop working forever. In Wandsworth, UK a woman was taken to hospital after her iFake charger exploded while she was on the phone.

Cheap iPhone Charger Exploded Cheap iPhone Charger Exploded

Fire investigator Andrew Vaughan–Davies said: “A dodgy charger has resulted in a woman being taken to hospital and unless people stop buying iFakes there will be more incidents and it’s only a matter of time before we are called to a fatal fire.

“Genuine chargers may cost more and you may think you are only paying for the brand name, but you’re actually buying peace of mind because you know the charger is going to be of better quality and specifically designed for your phone.

“For the sake of saving a few pounds is it worth putting the lives of your family at risk and taking the chance of potentially destroying your home?”

Our recommendation? Go the extra mile, and be sure your next charge is a lasting one.

If you’re responsible for keep large numbers of iPad, tablets or phone charged in your school or business. Consider using an USB Multi Charger Station like the Chargebus 1050 which meets all health and safety and USB battery charging safety regulations. Making it a safe place to charge multiple mobile devices. Contact us for more information.

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Safety Note for Apple Chargers

Apple sells their iPad charger for $19, while you can buy an iPad charger on eBay for about $3. From the outside, the chargers look the same. Is there a difference besides the price? In this article, I look inside real and counterfeit chargers and find that the genuine charger has much better construction, power quality, and most importantly safety. The counterfeit turns out to be a 5 watt charger in disguise, half the power of a genuine charger.

Stay safe people and don’t buy knock-off iPad chargers.

Safety probably isn’t something you think about when you plug in your charger, but it’s important. Inside the charger is 170 volts or more with very little separating it from your iPad and you. If something goes wrong, the charger can burn up, injure you, or even killyou. Devices such as chargers have strict safety standards – if you get a charger from a reputable manufacturer. If you buy a cheap counterfeit charger, these safety standards are ignored.

The UL regulations require safe separation between the high voltage and the low voltage. This is measured by creepage – the distance between them along the circuit board, and clearance – the distance between them through air. The regulations are complex, but in general there should be at least 4mm between high-voltage circuitry and low-voltage circuitry.

The creepage distance on the counterfeit charger board below is scary – only 0.6 mm separation between low and high voltage.

Sounds dangerous! All of onefruit’s Chargebus products meet these UL regulations. Don’t be conned by these cheap chargers.

Fake iPad Charger

 

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How iPad Syncing Works

There seems to be some misunderstanding about how iPad charges and syncs. Hopefully I can clear up some of these issues.

How USB charging works

Ever wondered why your iPad came with that brick of a USB charger? To charge iPad at its maximum charge rate, iPad requires a charger to supply it 2.1 Amps at 5 Volts. This is also know as “Fast Charge”. Not all USB charger are built to these standards. Below is a table showing the rating of different chargers.

Charging Comparison Multiple Devices

Source Voltage Current Power
Standard PC USB Port 5 Volts 0.5 Amps 2.5 Watts
iPhone Charger 5 Volts 1.0 Amps 5 Watts
iPad Charger 5 Volts 2.1 Amps 10 Watts

iPad “Not Charging”

1389367772428So will plugging in to my computers USB’s port charge my iPad? Even when it shows the “Not Charging”? Yes, it will charge your iPad but very, very slowly. As you can see from the table above, a standard USB port provides a 1/4th of the power compared with the iPad charger. Therefore taking 4 times longer to charge. It’s also worth noting that it will only charge when the screen is off. Here is a quote from Apple.

iPad will also charge, although more slowly, when attached to a computer with a high-power USB port (many recent Mac computers) or with an iPhone Power Adapter. When attached to a computer via a standard USB port (most PCs or older Mac computers) iPad will charge, but only when it’s in sleep mode. Make sure your computer is on while charging iPad via USB. If iPad is connected to a computer that’s turned off or is in sleep or standby mode, the iPad battery will continue to drain.

We can also see that an iPhone charger provides 1/2th the power of the iPad charger. Though it will show the iPad is charging, it will still take twice as long.

Let’s say your iPad takes 4 hours to fully charge. With the iPhone charger it would take 8 and a standard USB port would 16+ hours (likely longer). That’s why Apple gives you that 10 Watt charger so it doesn’t take all day to charge your iPad.

Can’t I just buy a USB Hub?

CreditiPad-pic

You could and this would be ok for simple syncing but not for charging multiple devices. Remember that 0.5 Amps the computer USB port gives us? Well, with a standard USB hub that 0.5 Amp is divided amongst all the iPads connected . That’s not particularly useful.

Some USB hubs try and get around this by bolting on an external power supply. This will still only provide a maximum of 0.5 Amps per port. However, there are some USB hubs that add a “Fast Charging” port that will supply 2.1 Amps.

 

dlink_dubh7b1_principalBeware, the word “Fast Charge” has a pretty loose meaning. This D-Link 7-Port USB 2.0 Hub above claims “Fast Charge” but digging into the specs shows those ports only support up to 1.2 Amps.

Adding syncing to the mix

As I mentioned early, a USB hub will certainly work for syncing data. Apple Configurator will let you deploy up 30 devices at a time. You will always be limited by all that data going through a single USB cable. I would never really want to sync more devices at a time anyway.

The problem comes when you try and sync iPad with a low battery over a USB hub. As the USB hub cannot supply enough power for iPad, you can end up in a situation where iPad draws more power then it’s receiving. Resulting in iPad draining it’s battery before you have finished syncing (this could potentially lead to corrupt data).

iPad USB charging and syncing solutions

Here at onefruit, we deploy the CHARGEBUS system. So why does onefruit deploy the CHARGEBUS system? Unlike other USB hubs and similar multiple iPad charging & syncing systems; CHARGEBUS has incorporated “Fast Charging” while syncing. This allows each port to supply an iPad with it’s maximum charging power while syncing.

Beware of the USB mode

Not all iPad USB charging and syncing solutions are equal. Many other systems will force the iPad into a “USB Mode” while syncing. This means that your iPad will receive the full 2.1 Amps until you plug in your computer to sync. The “USB Mode” will active and reduce the power down to 0.5 Amps while syncing.

What about Android and Kindle Fire?

Unfortunately Android has a software limitation where it cannot accept sync and “Fast Charge” at the same time like iPad. When syncing Android devices with CHARGEBUS (or any other solution), it will enter USB mode. Resulting in only 0.5 Amps of power per device while syncing.

I hope that has brought some clarity to how iPad charging and syncing work. In a future post, I will post some demonstrations to show how Fast Charging and USB Mode work.

If you have any questions, leave a comment below or contact us.