Technology News – Mobile phone users should take note of the death of a 28-year-old Australian woman, electrocuted while using her laptop and mobile phone.
Sheryl Anne Aldeguer was killed on 23 April and suffered extensive burns to her chest and ears from her laptop and earphones, while using a counterfeit mobile phone charger.
It is believed the phone charger sent a high voltage electrical charge into her phone, which she was using at the time, and this was conducted to the earphones connected to her laptop.
The case is being investigated by Australian police, and has prompted warnings about the dangers of using fake USB adaptors. The incident echoes the death last year of Ma Ailun, a 23-year-old Chinese flight attendant, who died in similar circumstances while taking a call on an iPhone 5 that was plugged into a non-apple USB charger.
Last year a New York woman claimed her iPhone 4S spontaneously melted, oozing acid that destroyed the handset and a UK man was burned and thrown across the room by an electric shock, when an iPad charger exploded in his hand.
In February last year, a house fire in Oregon was blamed on an overheated MacBook battery and in 2011, an iPhone 4 caught fire on an airplane flying over Australia.
It’s highly likely these, and many other anecdotal incidents, are all the fault of poorly made counterfeit chargers. Whilst there is a clear temptation to save money on buying fake chargers for a fraction of the cost of the genuine item, it’s a saving that could prove very costly in the long run.
Unlike a fake Rolex watch or Louis Vuitton handbag, these fakes can kill you!
The counterfeit chargers are usually made with cheap and inferior components and leave out much of the protective insulation, resulting in a risk of electrocution or fire. They also have less power than the genuine chargers, so take much longer to charge your device, putting additional strain on the battery and can cause overcharging.
There are, however, over 600 million Apple devices in use around the world with only a few reported incidents. The use of genuine Apple products is very safe, but cheap counterfeit chargers are likely to add a very significant risk.