Comes on heels of deaths, injuries in China where fakes are common
Following a pair of reports of Chinese citizens being badly shocked -- in at least one case to death -- from what were discovered to be counterfeit and unsafe third-party USB power adapters, Apple is launching a worldwide program to exchange the fake or "no-brand" chargers for "properly designed adapters" from Apple and dispose of the potentially dangerous ones in an "environmentally friendly" way, according to a new notice on Apple's support pages. Beginning August 16, customers with concerns will be able to exchange their adapters for genuine ones.
Cable hints at Light Peak support
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a patent for a new power adapter that integrates fiber optics for data transfer. Images associated with the filing appear to show a MagSafe connector modified to carry a single fiber-optic cable or multiple channels. Rather than terminating the cable at a power adapter, the system utilizes a data adapter with connections for USB, RJ-45, and DVI.
Knockoffs selling for almost half of Apple's price
Apple has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Media Solutions Holdings, a company that has allegedly been producing and distributing knockoff MagSafe power adapters. The Apple patent, No. D478,310, was initially issued in 2003. The defendant sells the AC adapters, including the 60W and 85W variants, on several websites such as laptopsforless.com, ereplacements.com and laptopacadpater.com.
Apple pays for replacement
Apple on Friday announced it would refund between $25 and $80 to as many as 2.3 million iBook and PowerBook owners, after a significant number of adapters went defective, fraying and sparking. The Los Angeles Times reports that US District Court Judge James Ware granted preliminary approval on March 24th on the 2006 class action filing. The agreement makes Apple responsible for paying for a portion of replacement power adapters for the portables.